Premier League preview: Fulham v Blackburn

Blackburn manager Steve Kean wants at least 10 more points to ensure Rovers stay in the Premier League.

Kean believes his players can make a start on the 42-point mark at Craven Cottage against Fulham on Saturday.

Rovers have collected 32 points so far but remain just four clear of the relegation zone.

With just six points covering the entire bottom half of the division, Kean feels teams will need to do more than usual to stay afloat.

“What we have seen is bottom can beat top. For the neutral it is exciting but for teams not in the top half you look at the fixture list and think go and get your own points,” he said.

“The bottom three is changing every week and I am thinking everyone beneath the top is improving week on week.”

“Maybe that is the reason why you are getting the results that will take the points tally I think to 42 points. You are going to need at least 42 points.”

Rovers had appeared safe just a few weeks ago but a four-match winless run has dragged them back into the relegation battle.

“It is my job to make sure I get across to the players we need to pick up the points,” Kean said.

“I hope I can get across we as a staff, me as a manager, the players, we are taking full responsibility for the blip and it is a blip.”

“We need to make sure we get the results and we get them quick and we get back to the feeling of that winning formula and the feel-good factor that we are moving in the right direction.”

Fulham are one spot ahead of Rovers on the league table in 13th, on the same number of points.

Mark Hughes’ men have won only five league games at home this season but have drawn six with a shortage of goals at Craven Cottage (17 in 14 outings) a contributing factor.

The match will have special significance for Fulham’s Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff.

Duff has great affection for Rovers but his heart now rests in London.

“Of course, that’s where it all began for me,” Duff told the Fulham website.

“I left Ireland at 16 and I went on to have seven or eight very happy years at Ewood Park.”

“There were some good times, notably the League Cup win in 2002.”

“They’re a good side and like ourselves, one that should probably be higher up the league table. I may still look out for their results, but these days I’m Fulham through-and-through.”

Duff is hoping to add to the equalising goal he scored against Manchester City on Sunday.

“It’s still all very tight at the minute, at the top and the bottom,” he said.

“Both teams will be looking at three points on Saturday, but we have to have confidence that it can be us that makes the difference when it matters.”

“We know how strong we can be at Craven Cottage – which has become a bit of a fortress for us in recent seasons, and with the fans behind us I can see no reason why we can’t get the three points and push further up the table.”

Article title: Premier League preview: Fulham v Blackburn

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