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Samba must get back on the beat

Another week’s gone by, and Rovers are still in a mess.

There was much said about it being a good time to face Newcastle and Arsenal, yet two defeats would suggest otherwise.

In fairness, we created enough chances to win the game against the Toon, but Steve Kean’s post-match comments – strangely backed up by the local paper – suggesting we “deserved to win” – were wide of the mark. Creating chances is one thing, sticking them away is another and if you don’t do that, you get exactly what you deserve – nothing.

As for the Arsenal game – shocking. Losing to the Gunners is no disgrace – surrendering without a fight is. Factor in Gael Givet’s stupid red card at 3-1 down, and this was a day to forget.

Somehow, all is not lost. Don’t get me wrong, Rovers are poor, but avoiding the drop is still possible. The teams battling for survival – Wigan, Wolves, Bolton and QPR – are also poor and with all four still to play, Rovers have a chance – slim as it is.

Next up at Ewood are QPR – a must-win game if ever there was one. For that to happen, we need our best team on the pitch and, like it or not, that means Chris Samba must play.

Kean admitted earlier in the week he “had no idea” if Samba would be involved this weekend – a ridiculous state of affairs. Support for Samba’s recent stance has been mixed, with some saying he should get on with his job, while others were glad he spoke out against the owners and the manager.

With the transfer window now shut, Samba simply has to play. He’s made it clear he’s not 100% committed to the club under the current regime but, for now, there’s nowhere he can go.

Having made his point, Samba should now knuckle down and focus on trying to help Rovers stay up. Failure to do so would alienate those who sympathised with his position and potentially put off potential buyers in the summer.

He can even make it clear his views on the owners and Kean haven’t changed, but there’s a job to do, and Samba now has to get on and do it. Once the season’s over, he should then be allowed to leave. No-one loses face.

With Ryan Nelsen being allowed to leave – yet another daft decision – and Givet suspended for three games, Rovers’ centre-half options are Scott Dann and Grant Hanley. With Samba partnering, either you’d have a little more confidence – together, they’re an accident waiting to happen.

No idea whether he’ll play? Get it sorted and fast.

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