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Mid-season report: Blackburn Rovers

Mid-season report: Blackburn Rovers
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes a look at a turbulent return to the Championship for Blackburn Rovers, with Steve Kean and Henning Berg heading for the exit in quick succession.

Blackburn Rovers fans will be glad to see the back of 2012 as a new season brought little sign of an improvement for the suffering Ewood faithful.

Steve Kean was given funds to strengthen and brought in experienced midfielder Danny Murphy before breaking their transfer record to sign Jordan Rhodes.

Rovers climbed to third in the Championship but it was not enough to save Kean, who was out of a job before October.

Henning Berg was a surprise choice to take over, but his reign was shortlived and he was sacked before the New Year, with Rovers languishing in the bottom half.

August

Rovers made an unbeaten start to life in the Championship, taking seven points out of a possible nine in their opening three matches.

Colin Kazim-Richards scored on his debut against Ipswich Town, but the home side found an equaliser and Rovers were forced to settle for a point at Portman Road.

The opening home match of the campaign saw Kazim-Richards double his Rovers tally in a 1-0 win over Hull City.

Successive home wins were wrapped up three days later as Nuno Gomes opened his account in a 2-1 success against Leicester City.

September

Goals flew in at both ends throughout September in a month which ultimately proved to be Kean's last at Ewood Park.

Ruben Rochina scored a cheeky backheel in the closing stages of a pulsating 3-3 draw at Elland Road to deny Leeds United victory.

Jordan Rhodes bagged a brace a fortnight later as Blackburn went top with a 5-3 success at Bristol City.

Blackburn's first defeat of the season came a week later in Kean's last game in charge, with Middlesbrough running out 2-1 winners away from home.

Life without Kean began brightly at Charlton Athletic, but Dickson Etuhu's opener was cancelled out as both sides shared the points at the Valley.

October

Rovers made it five games without a league win in a miserable start to October before Henning Berg took the reins at the end of the month.

A goalless draw at Nottingham Forest was followed by a second successive home defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Blackburn nearly halted their slide at Derby County, but an 89th-minute equaliser from Theo Robinson denied a desperate Rovers.

Relief came a week later as Grant Henley scored the only goal against Sheffield Wednesday. Rhodes repeated the trick three days later to make it back-to-back home wins with a single-goal victory over Watford.

November

Berg made an indifferent start as Rovers boss, falling to a 2-0 defeat at in-form Crystal Palace.

Three days later a stoppage-time equaliser from Lee Novak denied Rovers a win over Huddersfield Town. Frustration grew as Marlon King got Birmingham City a point at Ewood Park.

Rhodes lifted the gloom with a hat-trick against Peterborough United, earning Berg his first win in charge.

November ended with a pair of disappointing home defeats. Millwall and Bolton Wanderers both left Ewood with all three points as Rovers slide down the table continued.

December

A busy run of festive fixtures failed to bring Rovers any victories and ended Berg's reign after just 57 days.

The Lancashire derby came close to giving Blackburn a platform to build on. Rhodes had given his team the lead against Burnley, but Sam Vokes struck in the second half to leave the Turf Moor tussle all square.

Table-topping Cardiff City were rampant at Ewood five days later, running out 4-1 winners to a chorus of boos from home supporters.

Blackpool and Middlesbrough both stopped Rovers from scoring and made it three successive defeats either side of Christmas.

Blackburn owners Venky's decided they had seen enough, relieving Berg of his duties less than 24 hours after defeat at the Riverside.

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Blackburn Rovers manager Henning Berg on the touchline during the match against Burnley on December 2, 2012
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