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Kean: Blackburn 'forfeited' League Cup hopes

Updated: November 30, 2011, 09:15

Cardiff City's Craig Conway holds off Blackburn's David Dunn (left) during a League Cup, quarter final match between Cardiff and Blackburn Rovers at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011.    (AP Photo/  David Davies/PA   ) UNITED KINGDOM OUT  NO SALES  NO ARCHIVE

BLACKBURN, England(AP) Blackburn fans have further reason to try and force Steve Kean out of the club after the under-fire manager acknowledged "forfeiting'' a chance to reach the last four of the League Cup by playing a weakened team in a quarterfinal defeat.

A Blackburn side featuring a number of second-string players was beaten 2-0 by second-tier team Cardiff on Tuesday, dashing probably its best hopes of winning any silverware this season.

With the northwest club bottom of the Premier League by two points after 13 games, Kean said staying in the top flight was the priority this season and made no apologies for his team selection against Cardiff.

"We are in a position where we have forfeited going through in this competition and having the chance to reach a cup final,'' said Kean. "We now have games against sides who are within touching distance of us in the league and we need to treat those games as cup finals.''

Despite the club's poor results since Kean took over as manager midway through last season, Blackburn's Indian owners - Asian poultry giant Venky's - have stood loyally behind the Scottish coach.

A section of supporters has taken a different view, however, with most Blackburn matches the scene of protests and angry chants. The latest protest is set to take place before Saturday's Premier League game against Swansea, one of a series of upcoming matches against probable fellow relegation contenders.

"It's never nice when the fans are negative, but when you are focused on the game it's something you put to the back of your mind. It doesn't affect me,'' Kean said.

"We all want the same things. We all want the club to win the game. The fans are frustrated but we all need to stick together.''

Fuelled by the cash of local businessman Jack Walker, Blackburn won the English title for the first time in its history in 1995 but the club's fortunes have plummeted since then.

Since returning to the Premier League in 2001 following relegation two years earlier, the team has often flirted with relegation although it did win the League Cup in 2002 under manager Graeme Souness.

Under Kean, who was appointed as Sam Allardyce's replacement last December, Blackburn has lost nearly half of its matches but escaped relegation by four points last season.

Rovers' only league victory this season was a 4-3 win over Arsenal in September.

"Saturday has to kickstart our season,'' said Kean, who is reported to be meeting Blackburn's owners on Wednesday to discuss transfer targets in January.

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