By Tony Leighton
Eric Black may not become the new Blackburn Rovers manager, but the caretaker boss is laying a solid foundation on which the departed Steve Kean's successor can build as Rovers bid for promotion from the npower Championship at the fist attempt.
May's relegation ended the Ewood Park club's 11 years of Premier League football and, after seven matches of the new campaign, Kean left and his assistant Black, a former Motherwell and Coventry City manager, as well as having been Steve Bruce's number two at Birmingham City and Sunderland, was put in temporary charge.
Two games and two hard-earned away points later - the second a stalemate, at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday evening, Rovers' first goalless draw in 60 League matches - there is a new-found steely, 'they shall not pass' attitude running through a team whose defensive frailties have cost them dear in the past.
After seeing his side hold Forest at the City Ground, Black said: "We defended exceptionally well. Coming away from home in the Championship, it's not up to us to make the game, to be open and try to create. It's up to us to be dogged and defend and then look to create as many chances as we can.
"We can't be too adventurous - Blackburn need to win as many games as possible, but we've had a major problem in terms of conceding goals and that as to be resolved. Yes, we would like to score more goals, but hopefully that will come."
More goals will undoubtedly be needed if Rovers are going to get the results they require to achieve their aim of promotion back to the top flight. Next up is Saturday's home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Black said: "We need to be more offensive at home, there's no question about that.
"But if we can get a home victory on Saturday after two away points, I'll be more than delighted with that - it'll make it a fantastic week for us."
Speculation surrounding the managerial vacancy - with the likes of Roy Keane, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Tim Sherwood rumoured to be interested - is inevitably affecting the atmosphere in and around Ewood Park.
But Black, who confirmed that he had not applied for the job himself, insists that the players are totally focused on the job in hand regardless of the speculation.
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