Here's a variation on a familiar theme: Kean in. At the end of an entertaining match decorated equally with craft and carelessness, a contingent of Norwich City supporters were quick to express the ever-fashionable notion that Blackburn Rovers' manager would be sacked in the morning.

He may yet fail to survive: to second-guess the caprices of Blackburn's distant poultry magnates would be folly, and six defeats in nine Premier League matches before this draw, not to mention rumours of an altercation between supporters and a member of Kean's coaching staff in midweek, had combined to create a sense of crisis. But there were still signs at Carrow Road that progress might not be too far away. Not least in the industry of the Blackburn players.

"If that's a bunch of players that are not giving their manager enough I beg to differ," Paul Lambert said, generously deadpan after a point earned as much through perseverance as inspiration. "They are a really good team. The demonstrations don't help the team, they don't help Steve, they don't help the players. I hope he gets the chance to push on."

The demonstrations were nowhere to be seen here: there were no boos or banners from Blackburn's travelling fans and there was even a cautious clap in their direction from the manager at the final whistle. More pressingly, an away point lifted Blackburn off the bottom of the table and perhaps with this in mind Kean was disarmingly assured at the final whistle, refusing to dwell even on the debatable penalty that saw Grant Holt rescue a point for the home team four minutes into stoppage time.

"The effort they put in shows we are very tight as a group. We came back and we'll come back again," he said. "There were a lot of good performances and those young players are the future of our club."

This is perhaps the main cause for Blackburn optimism. Steven Nzonzi, who gave away the penalty – and who might in future be better served playing to the whistle, as it was his own appeal for a foul that caused him to inadvertently handball – was part of a Blackburn midfield that provides the most compelling argument that Kean is assembling a team who can play their way out of trouble.

At times in the second half there was a tangible gulf in quality in this area as Blackburn's skilful, mobile central five of Nzonzi, Junior Hoilett, Mauro Formica, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Rubén Rochina dominated. Some Blackburn fans have pointed to the absence of defensive scufflers here. Nzonzi and Pedersen provided the defensive shield but neither are likely to conjure images of David Batty in his scowling pomp.

However, all three Blackburn goals emanated from midfield: Hoilett's spectacular solo effort, a Yakubu Ayegbeni finish created by Formica's expert through pass, and a Chris Samba header made by Pedersen's enduring set-piece excellence.

If Kean was guilty of anything it was trying to second guess his team's defensive callowness in this area: a late triple substitution at 3-1 up, including introducing the experienced David Dunn, was no doubt intended to stave off a late fade. In the event the change had the opposite effect, a case of tinkering borne perhaps out of desperation to seal the points.

After the visit of Chelsea next week Blackburn have six winnable games leading up to Christmas, a trip to Stoke being their most formidable outing. The run-up to the festive season is always a trigger-happy time in poultry circles. Kean will face it, if not with confidence, then at least with some causes for hope.