Rovers owner says `never doubted` Kean

London: Blackburn co-owner Venkatesh Rao insists manager Steve Kean`s future was never in doubt despite fan protests following the Premier League club`s poor start to the season.

Kean had to endure heavy criticism from Blackburn supporters after his side slumped to the bottom of the table and a protest march to Ewood Park before Saturday`s game against Arsenal only increased the pressure.

However, Kean`s players rescued their boss with a 4-3 win over Arsenal to end Rovers` wait for a first league victory since the final day of last season.

Rao was at Ewood Park to see the seven-goal thriller and he was quick to pledge his support for Kean and insist that Venkys -- the Indian poultry firm which bought Blackburn last season -- had never considered sacking him.

"We have not doubted his ability at all. We would like to congratulate him," Rao told Sky Sports News.

"It`s wonderful, it`s a relief and not only for the club but I would say it is for the fans.

"The most important thing is for the fans, who are really happy and if they`re happy, I`m really happy."

Rao was seen embracing his brother Balaji at the end of the Arsenal game and, asked if this was out of a sense of relief, he replied: "No, I think more than relief it was joy and happiness.

"We all had a positive attitude and we were looking very positive, the entire club.

"I think the club and the fans, at the end of the day, were quite happy and how can I say, if they are happy, we are happy."

Bureau Report