• 'If you have a good game plan you have a chance'
• 'This is the time for bravery and courage'
The good news for Blackburn Rovers supporters unhappy at the club's slide towards relegation is that Steve Kean has a four‑part plan for survival, the first stage of which was accomplished with a comfortable victory over Norwich City.
The less cheering information is that the other three parts of the manager's plan involve doing the same thing at home to Wigan Athletic and away to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, all teams who need points for their own reasons and can be relied upon to show a greater urgency in the final games of the season than Paul Lambert's coasting Canaries.
"This is the time to show bravery and courage, and also that you can back each other up," Kean said after a first win in six games that largely confounded the terrace dissenters at Ewood Park. "If you have a good gameplan and a good bunch of players you have a chance, and I've got both. The dressing room's not bouncing at the moment – we all know this is only the first part of a four-part plan to get us out of trouble.
"Nine points from the last three games would be great, but the challenge we have set ourselves is to make sure we take some points from every game.
"There's no reason why we can't do that. We have been to Old Trafford and Anfield this season and gained a result, and that gives you experience and self-belief. The players are up for it, I can tell you. Gaël Givet and Bradley Orr both had to have injections to play, Junior Hoilett and Ayegbeni Yakubu are both carrying injuries too, but no one wants to come off the pitch at the moment and that's a fantastic sign."
Ideally Kean would prefer not to have to go to Stamford Bridge on the last day of the season needing to win to stay up, but while gaining points from Tottenham or Wigan sounds easier, Spurs are a tough proposition at home and Wigan have proved capable of almost anything on their recent travels.
Lambert almost apologised for Norwich's limp performance at Blackburn, promising they would buck up their ideas for their next game against Liverpool, though in truth there was not too much between the sides in an evenly-contested first half until Rovers got their noses in front just before the interval and then made the points safe with a second goal shortly after the restart.
Both goals were of a higher quality than the occasion. Morten Gamst Pedersen's searching cross from the left was expertly finished at the far post by Mauro Formica, then that was bettered by Hoilett's stunning drive after cutting in from the left touchline. Only Lambert, for professional reasons, thought they were poor goals to concede.
"You can't just stand back and admire things at this level," the Norwich manager said. "The cross for the first goal came from a long way out and found a striker all on his own at the far post. The second goal was a great shot, but no one tried to stop him. You can't do that. You've got to get a foot or something in the way. We were in the contest until that happened but goals change games."