Steve Kean believes Portman Road will not be an easy place to come this season

Ipswich v Blackburn: Rovers boss Steve Kean has paid a handsome tribute to Ipswich – despite admitting he was disappointed to leave Suffolk with just a point.

The under-pressure Rovers manager had to settle for a 1-1 draw but felt that was more than many Championship clubs would get from their 90 minutes at Portman Road.

He explained: “Full credit to Ipswich, I think they are an excellent side. I saw them in midweek, a good win against Bristol Rovers, and I know they have had a good pre-season and are happy with their form.

“This will be a very tough ground for people to come and take points. It was a high-intensity game which shows the fitness levels on both sides were very high.”

Kean felt the game hinged on two factors – Colin Kazim-Richards’ second-half lob that landed on top of Scott Loach’s goal with the score at 1-0 and also the yellow cards to his central midfield duo within the first 47 minutes of play.


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Kean, who had a strong contingent of the club’s owners, the Venky family, watching on, said: “If Kazim-Richards had scored that, the game would have been dead and buried.

“But what really affected us getting a lot deeper in the second half was the cards for Dickson Etuhu and Danny Murphy.

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“The lads are in a difficult position as they know they can’t have a mistimed tackle and as a result were reluctant to push on like we saw in the first half. We got a little bit too deep.”

Playing their first game in the Championship since their relegation to the Premier League, Kean described it as “the best second division in the world”.

One player he would not comment on was Ipswich youth Jordan Rhodes, who sat out Huddersfield’s opener on Friday with a hamstring injury. Town are due to get a sell-on fee though Rhodes could still be at the Terriers for their match at Portman Road on September 1.

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