A mid-season tour of India was supposed to provide Steve Kean with a bit of relief from the storm brewing among the terraces at Ewood Park.
Instead it has merely fuelled the fires, with a ‘Kean out’ banner somehow making the journey to Asia with him and unfurled during a friendly and a third supporter protest planned upon his return.
He has received the backing of owners Venkys for now, though they admit football scores need to improve.
However, speak to most fans and they see the Indian owners as much of the problem as Kean.
The circumstances by which Sam Allardyce was sacked and Kean appointed raised suspicions and when you get off onto an uneasy start with supporters, you need to turn things round and fast.
Kean hasn’t, and neither has Venkys.
The Scot has won only nine games in nearly a year in charge, relying on a final day victory against Wolves to stay in the Premier League last May.
Five months later, five defeats from their opening seven games has seen the Lancashire club slump to second bottom, and the natives are restless.
The owners must also take their share of the blame. They arrived with outlandish claims about Blackburn piercing the top six. I am not suggesting it isn’t possible, but it won’t happen with the methods they are adopting, mainly name-dropping but then failing to deliver (Raul, Ronaldinho etc...) sacking an experienced boss and hiring a rookie replacement and embarking on a series of pr disasters which merely reinforces the feeling among some supporters that they are merely in it to improve their brand in the UK and even if they do care for the club, their lack of experience in football management is starting to show. If things don’t change I would bet on relegation at the end of the season.
They now face a crucial few months which could define their season and immediate future. If Kean can spark a mini-revival and quell the dissenters then this season can be salvaged.
However, when fans are unhappy it is very hard to win them back and so it will take decisiveness from Venkys to decide if and when they should replace Kean - the owners of West Ham admit they did not replace Avram Grant before it was too late. While I don’t like to see managers sacked but Kean is approaching that point of no return and only a sharp upturn in results, I feel, will save him.