Kean hails Yakubu
Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has backed striker Yakubu to score 20 goals in the Premier League this season.
Last Updated: 10/12/11 1:50pm
Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has backed striker Yakubu to become the first player to score 20 Premier League goals for the club in a single season since Alan Shearer in 1996.
Yakubu has already found the target nine times in eight starts in the league so far this campaign, including all four last weekend in their 4-2 victory over Swansea City.
Roque Santa Cruz came closest for Rovers with 19 in the 2007/08 campaign, and Kean says that the key will be to keep the service to Yakubu going and make sure the 29-year-old remains fit.
"Any top striker thrives on good service," he said. "He has an eye for goal and he's in a position now when he gets any chance he expects to score.
"Last week he had five chances and scored four and was a couple of inches away from the fifth which would have been fantastic.
"If we can keep him fit there is no reason why he can't get those 20 goals in the season.
"It's not a case of him thinking 'I could be in here' - he just expects to see the net bulge every time he has a shot."
Kean further enthused: "I don't think it is a surprise how well he has done. Look back on his stats and as long as you keep him fit and on the pitch his returns are there to see.
"He has been a breath of a fresh air for us.
"He does his work where you want him to, in the box. I don't want him to chase into corners from the halfway line, I would prefer him to conserve his energy."