Steve Kean did not expect Blackburn relegation battle

Blackburn manager Steve Kean says he did not expect his team to be involved in another battle for Premier League survival this season.

Rovers, who escaped the drop with a 3-2 win at Wolves on the final day of last season, need to win their remaining two games to have a chance of staying up.

"I didn't expect it to come to this," said Kean, whose side host Wigan on Monday.

"We have to make sure we stay up. I'm still convinced we can do it."

Kean's side take on relegation rivals Wigan before going to Chelsea on the final day of the season.

Even if 19th-placed Rovers, who have lost six of their last seven games, pick up six points with wins against the Latics and Chelsea, they still need two of QPR, Wigan and Bolton to lose their respective final games of the season, as well as a goal difference swing to go for them.

However, an optimistic Kean said: "I feel as if [this game against Wigan] can give a positive edge.

Premier League permutations

  • Blackburn: Will be relegated if they don't beat Wigan
  • Bolton: Need to beat Stoke and hope QPR and Wigan lose their final games
  • Wigan: Will be safe if they beat Blackburn; a draw should be enough
  • QPR: Will be safe if they beat Man City; a draw should be enough

"Sometimes you can look at the lads and think they are a little bit nervous and there is a negative energy, but they have looked bright and sharp on the training ground."

However, Blackburn's 1995 Premier League title-winning captain Colin Hendry does not share Kean's optimism.

He told BBC Sport: "Unfortunately it's looking pretty ominous for them - it's a big night, they have to win the game."

Hendry offered his support for his fellow Scot, who has endured numerous protests and calls from supporters for him to be sacked, adding: "It's been a difficult time for him. He's handled himself with extreme dignity.

"It is a minority that's campaigning, having all these demonstrations about what should happen.

"By far and away the majority are behind the team and behind the manager, all they want to do is see survival, over what's happened this season and how it's gone, they just want their team to survive."

Wigan will make sure of their Premier League survival with a victory at Ewood Park, while a draw would all-but guarantee their safety, given they have a goal difference nine better than 18th-placed Bolton.

Manager Roberto Martinez will not be playing for the draw though.

"We can't do that, we're not that type of team," he said.

"We're a team that needs to get on the ball and control games ourselves. We need to be brave in attack and defend with good intensity."