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EPL side Blackburn Rovers arrive in Pune

By The Assam Tribune

PUNE, Oct 5 (IANS): Blackburn Rovers, the first English Premier League (EPL) team to set foot in India, arrived here Wednesday to play an exhibition match against Pune FC.

Rovers, owned by Indian poultry giant Venky's, will play the I-League side Pune FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex here Friday.

The English club will also be conducting a series of coaching sessions for youngsters.

The Lancashire-based team were originally to play here in July but postponed their trip in the wake of the Mumbai bomb blasts.

Rovers will be without their nine regulars, including Martin Olsson and Radosav Petrovic, who are on international duties, playing in the Euro 2012 qualifiers and under-21 friendlies.

Rovers are currently 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, having lost five of their seven games this season, thus piling the pressure on their manager Steve Kean. They, however, pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory over Arsenal to give their manager a bit of a breather.

The club only narrowly avoided relegation last season under the Scot, who replaced Sam Allardyce shortly after Venky's took over at Ewood Park in November 2010.

Their 0-4 home defeat to Manchester City Saturday led a section of angry Rovers fans hold up 'Kean Out' banners.

Kean, however, insists his meeting this week with the club's owners will be business as usual despite co-owner Venkatesh Rao saying that a "very big discussion" is going to take place about the club's situation, with a 'plan of action' formulated.

"People will say I've been summoned, but I've heard that on my last six or seven trips," Kean told Sky Sports News.

"We always have a sit down and a talk.

"I come here once a month to sit down with the family and talk about all aspects of the club and the games, the development of the younger players, the integration of the new players, what we want to do in the next transfer window, the funding of that."

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EPL side Blackburn Rovers arrive in Pune

PUNE, Oct 5 (IANS): Blackburn Rovers, the first English Premier League (EPL) team to set foot in India, arrived here Wednesday to play an exhibition match against Pune FC.

Rovers, owned by Indian poultry giant Venky's, will play the I-League side Pune FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex here Friday.

The English club will also be conducting a series of coaching sessions for youngsters.

The Lancashire-based team were originally to play here in July but postponed their trip in the wake of the Mumbai bomb blasts.

Rovers will be without their nine regulars, including Martin Olsson and Radosav Petrovic, who are on international duties, playing in the Euro 2012 qualifiers and under-21 friendlies.

Rovers are currently 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, having lost five of their seven games this season, thus piling the pressure on their manager Steve Kean. They, however, pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory over Arsenal to give their manager a bit of a breather.

The club only narrowly avoided relegation last season under the Scot, who replaced Sam Allardyce shortly after Venky's took over at Ewood Park in November 2010.

Their 0-4 home defeat to Manchester City Saturday led a section of angry Rovers fans hold up 'Kean Out' banners.

Kean, however, insists his meeting this week with the club's owners will be business as usual despite co-owner Venkatesh Rao saying that a "very big discussion" is going to take place about the club's situation, with a 'plan of action' formulated.

"People will say I've been summoned, but I've heard that on my last six or seven trips," Kean told Sky Sports News.

"We always have a sit down and a talk.

"I come here once a month to sit down with the family and talk about all aspects of the club and the games, the development of the younger players, the integration of the new players, what we want to do in the next transfer window, the funding of that."