Burnt Rovers look to regain fire | sports | Hindustan Times
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Burnt Rovers look to regain fire

sports Updated: Oct 06, 2011 01:36 IST
Deepti Patwardhan

Less than a week ago, Blackburn Rovers were enveloped in the chaotic noise of discontent of their fans. On Saturday, the team tumbled to a 0-4 defeat against Manchester City at Ewood Park, to stumble to their fifth loss in seven games in the Premier League this season.

Come Wednesday, the noise was replaced with the clamour of drums as the team, the first Premier League side to play in the country, touched down at the army base in Pune.

The players and under-fire manager Steve Kean will also hold contingency talks with their Indian owners - poultry giants Venky's - during the week, apart from playing an exhibition match against Pune FC on Friday. While the fans back home are questioning the timing of the tour, captain Ryan Nelsen believes it's the perfect distraction for his side.

"It is fantastic timing," said the New Zealander. "We have not got as many points as we would have liked. The fans are disappointed. But the truth is the disappointment is thrice as much for the players and the manager. Getting away from that and coming here is refreshing."

Given that the team started their season with the controversial advert, which showed the players devouring fried chicken from Venky's poultry farm, the 'chicken jokes' aimed against them are getting merrier. And touring a country recently weaned on Premier League action, where everything associated with the league sells, might help them defuse some pressure and put a positive spin on what looks like an increasingly wonky campaign.