Blackburn Rovers Vs Everton, Sat 27 Aug 2011

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Blackburn boss Steve Kean is challenging his players to take their Carling Cup feel-good factor into the Barclays Premier League as they belatedly attempt to open their account.

Rovers are yet to pick up a single point after successive defeats by Wolves at home on the opening day and Aston Villa in the Midlands last weekend, and head into Saturday's clash with Everton at Ewood Park determined to end that winless run.

The game sees two teams sitting inside the fledgling league table's bottom four go head-to-head and, while it is too early to for alarm bells to be ringing, Kean is hoping his side will finally reap the rewards he believes they deserve.

A 3-1 midweek cup victory over League One Sheffield Wednesday was certainly a step in the right direction, and the manager is determined to build upon that.

He said: "We have worked hard in both the games so far and just not managed to get anything out of them.

"I don't think there was anything dramatically apparent where we were miles off the pace - quite the opposite.

"The stats will tell you that it was a very close game with Villa and with Wolves, so for us to get a win against Sheffield Wednesday was great because of the things you work on on the training ground from the previous games that need to be put right.

"They were very apparent and it was a good win."

Everton too are pointless having played just one league game, a demoralising 1-0 home defeat by promoted QPR last weekend.

However, they were also in cup action against opposition from the steel city during the week and ran out 3-1 winners over Sheffield United.

Kean has enormous respect for compatriot David Moyes and knows just how difficult a task his players will face.

He said: "David Moyes is a top manager and I think what he has done at Everton has been fantastic considering the limited resources he's had.

"We will have to put out a side that's going to go out and compete to put points on the board, and I'm confident that with the injuries coming back and the additions and the buzz about the place after Wednesday night's result that we are confident going into this game."

Kean is expected to welcome skipper Christopher Samba back to the squad following a groin injury, while Gael Givet emerged unscathed in midweek on his return.

However, Ryan Nelsen is a doubt with a knee problem, while striker El-Hadji Diouf will not be considered as Rovers attempt to move him on.

Everton boss Moyes believes the club can be successful this season despite their financial difficulties.

Moyes has endured a frustrating summer of limited activity in the transfer market, with his chairman Bill Kenwright revealing that the Toffees' recruitment plans have been hampered by their inability to borrow from the bank.

Moyes, who has guided Everton to consistent top-10 finishes in the Barclays Premier League over the last few years, admitted last week it could be a lot tougher for the team to reach those heights again this term.

Nonetheless, the Scot retains great faith in his players and is optimistic they can still produce the goods.

"In football at this moment in time, I think the league table will tell you that what you tend to pay in wages (is a major factor in) where you finish," Moyes said.

"But I'd like to think that football wasn't always about spending money, and that there could still be a bit of romance - that people could take teams to finals and get high up the league without having too much to spend.

"We have got good, international players in our squad from several countries who have been here for a while.

"We have a good level of stability at the club and because of that, the group know what is expected.

"We hope to keep it going and finish as well as we have done in recent seasons."

Although Moyes may struggle to sign any new players before next week's transfer deadline, Everton were able to confirm at the weekend that captain Phil Neville had put pen to paper on a contract extension that will see him stay at Goodison Park until the summer of 2013.

The club are also working to secure the future of Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, whose current deal with the Toffees expires at the end of next season.

Asked for an update on how talks with the 23-year-old were going, Moyes said: "I have heard that it is progressing well, so when we have some news we will give it to you."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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League Cup
Premier League
El-Hadji Diouf
Marouane Fellaini
Gael Givet
Christopher Samba
Ryan Nelsen
Phil Neville

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