Kean: Samba wants to stay

Blackburn manager Steve Kean believes defender Christopher Samba is now happy to stay at Ewood Park.

Samba was stripped of the captaincy by Kean prior to the Boxing Day defeat by Stoke after reportedly saying he wanted to quit in protest at the handling of former boss Sam Allardyce's recent departure. Samba missed that game and Tuesday's 3-1 win at West Brom with an ankle injury, but Kean is confident he has cleared the air with the player.

"He is happy to see how things develop in the transfer market and he is starting to think about staying at the club, which is a bonus for us," said the Rovers boss.

"He pushed himself for 35-40 minutes in a fitness test but he still felt his ankle. He was gutted to miss the game.

"I'm convinced he will be fit for Sunderland (on January 1) and I am delighted to say he does not want to hand in that transfer request."

There have been reports of further player unrest at Rovers but there seemed little sign of it in a lively performance at The Hawthorns which delivered Kean's first win.

Nikola Kalinic twice put Rovers ahead either side of a Jerome Thomas equaliser but was then sent off shortly after Mame Biram Diouf added a third.

West Brom rallied and hit the bar but Blackburn held on after Gabriel Tamas was also dismissed for bringing down Diouf.

Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo felt his side contributed to their own downfall.

"It was bad defending," said the Italian. "After five minutes we were chasing the game already and that is tough in the Barclays Premier League."