Rovers fear striker shortage

Kazim-Richards
Kazim-Richards was forced to leave the field in the closing minutes of Wednesday's game against Hull. Photo: PA

Blackburn manager Steve Kean was left sweating on the fitness of Colin Kazim-Richards after the on-loan Galatasaray forward's second goal in as many matches secured a 1-0 win over Hull.

Kazim-Richards followed up his debut goal in Saturday's opening draw at Ipswich by smashing home from close range to settle the npower Championship contest in the 77th minute.

But in the closing minutes the 25-year-old Turkey international pulled up with a knee injury, meaning Portuguese veteran Nuno Gomes could be Kean's only available senior striker for the visit of Leicester on Saturday.

"He felt a little strain just on the outside of his knee, so hopefully that won't be a bad one because the last thing we would want is another injury to the strikers," Kean said.

With Republic of Ireland striker Leon Best, a £3million summer signing from Newcastle, sidelined due to knee ligament damage, Kean remains in the market for attacking reinforcements.

The Rovers boss recently went public with his club's bid for highly-rated Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes but does not want to ruffle any more feathers before the close of the transfer window.

He said: "What I've said, and I think it's very important, is we're trying to be respectful to clubs that own the players that we're bidding for.

"If it's a 'no, and please don't bid again and go away' then I think we'll try somewhere else because we're trying to improve the squad right up until the deadline."

Kean was glowing in his assessment of Kazim-Richards' contribution this evening before his late withdrawal.

"He thought, when he came to the club, he wasn't a natural goalscorer, but I would disagree with him," he said.

"I think he's got the power and the strength and the attributes - certainly his anticipational skills - to let him score and give him opportunities to score.

"Not only at this level, but I think he can score a level up."

An attendance of 13,562 - Rovers' lowest for a home league game since their goalless draw with Sheffield United in 1993 - soundtracked the contest with now familiar calls for Kean's head, most notably after Kazim-Richards' goal.

When asked about this afterwards, the Scot maintained his position that further positive results can quickly bring about a change of opinion despite Blackburn's relegation from the Barclays Premier League last year.

"The thing that I'm focusing on is wins and clean sheets," he added.

"We've managed to get a really good point on Saturday, a clean sheet today, scored a goal and I'm sure by the time we get another couple of victories the fans will be happy."

Hull manager Steve Bruce felt a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal cost his side in a game of few chances.

"There wasn't a hive of created chances, but I thought if anything we had the better chances," he said.

"I think after being at the club a few weeks that's going to be our Achilles heel.

"I'm not just saying strikers. I think it's the whole culture, midfield players, defenders - the whole thing. I think that's the one area where we've got to improve.

"For all our good football and the way we are defensively, if you don't score and take the chances somewhere like here it's going to be a frustrating night for you."