• Norwich, Wigan and Stoke the immediate targets
• Kean remains focused on enjoying Carling Cup run
Bottom of the Premier League but in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup, Blackburn Rovers are targeting their next three away games to climb away from relegation trouble, beginning with the trip to Norwich City on Saturday.
Chelsea are the next visitors to Ewood Park, on Guy Fawkes day, when, if recent games at home against Tottenham and Manchester City are any guide, the heat will be turned on the manager, Steve Kean, by the supporters if the result goes against Rovers.
Trips to Norwich, Wigan and Stoke City in the next month look more winnable, and for the moment at least Rovers may be more comfortable away from Ewood Park, where even the entertaining Carling Cup win against Newcastle United in midweek was marred by suggestions that members of Kean's backroom team became involved in arguments with home supporters.
"Our away form has been pretty good despite not always getting the points we deserved," Kean said. "We played well at QPR and should probably have done better than a draw. Norwich will be a tough game, I saw them at Liverpool last week and they played a lot of good stuff but we can take credit from the way we have played away from home this season. Our main focus now is trying to keep a few more clean sheets.
"We're fairly confident there are goals in the team, we have shown ourselves capable of scoring against most sides but we need to lock the back door to make sure of maximum points. That's what we have been working on. We might be at the wrong end of the table but we still have a positive mind-set. We believe we can get ourselves out of trouble."
Sides at the bottom of the table generally cling to any bit of success in the hope it might prove a turning point, though Kean believes the Carling Cup and the league campaign are two separate issues.
"It is only results in the league that will save us," he said. "We know what we have to do but at least with the way we won against Newcastle the fans could see the lads fighting for each other. There was a lot of character in that performance – Newcastle hadn't lost a game this season but we showed how much we wanted to get to the quarter-finals.
"Gaël Givet should have come off at half-time with a hamstring injury but he said he wanted to give it five or 10 more minutes to see if he could carry on. He ended up playing all the second half and extra time and then scoring the winning goal. That's the sort of character you need and that is what this club is all about."
Givet is given a chance of appearing at Carrow Road and the central defender Scott Dann may also return after injury, though Kean confirmed there is no chance of the senior players Ryan Nelsen, Michel Salgado, Vince Grella or David Dunn taking part.
That is quite a lengthy injury list for a club of such modest resources and it includes some of Blackburn's most experienced players. Yet, unlike some managers in his situation, Kean has no plans to bale out of the Carling Cup to concentrate his efforts on the league situation. "We know what we have to do in the league but cups are there to enjoy," he said. "We want to go as far as we can. I think you could see that from the way we played the other night."
Blackburn's Jason Lowe has signed a new five-year deal, moreover. The 19-year-old, who plays at full-back or in central midfield, has become a regular this season and captained the England Under-20s before breaking into the Under-21 set-up. "I'm delighted with his progress," said Kean. "I believe he has a long and successful career ahead of him."