David Moyes has called on Blackburn Rovers' owners to lend greater support to Steve Kean after revealing that he and Tony Pulis walked out of the club's defeat by Bolton Wanderers in disgust at the abuse levelled at the Rovers manager.
Kean is fighting to save his job at Ewood Park, with Blackburn bottom of the table and the Rovers support vehemently against a manager Venky's appointed shorty after its takeover last year.
Anger at Kean intensified to such a degree during the 2-1 defeat by their fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday that the Everton and Stoke City managers left the stadium at half-time. Moyes, who believes the crowd reaction damaged Rovers' performance during the critical defeat, feels the club's Indian-based owners should shoulder more responsibility for the predicament.
The Everton manager said: "I thought it was disgusting. I couldn't believe the criticism they gave their manager. Steve Kean stood on the touchline and took it all. He was brave and man enough to do that. I just felt if they had supported their team instead they might have got a result and I left at half-time because I was so disgusted.
"His family were there and it would be terrible knowing your wife was in the stadium listening to that. I think Tony Pulis walked out as well. It made me feel that could quite easily be me or any other Premier League manager. I genuinely felt Blackburn needed their supporters to support the team because that made it harder for the players to perform."
Moyes added: "Maybe Steve could do with the owners coming out and standing there, being there in the same way. Sometimes on these occasions the owners need to step forward and be seen – come out and tell people exactly what is happening so the supporters are aware of it. Blackburn is not my club so I cannot comment too much on what the supporters think or how they feel but as a human being who was there I felt for another one.
"If you make the wrong choices as manager, it's up to the directors to sort it. But if they have made the choice and decide on a manager, they should give him the chance to manage. That's one thing you could maybe say for the owners at Blackburn. They have given him a chance to manage but maybe they should be more public with it."
Moyes will reach his 10-year anniversary as Everton manager in March and, though he has never faced the level or ferocity of criticism that Kean has received, he did endure difficult times at the start of his tenure, particularly after his second full season in charge when the club won one of its final 10 games and finished one place above the relegation zone.
He recalled: "If they [Everton] had thought about changing me after that year they would have been off their head. Any supporter phoning up saying it's time for David Moyes to go, I'd hope they would now say that would have been the wrong thing. Walter Smith had done a lot of the groundwork but he'd gone through a real tough period and maybe it needed someone to come in and settle it down.
"But if I hadn't got some results in the early period, they might have been saying 'let's change it again'. And in one way you could say maybe it was a really good choice by Bill Kenwright. The chairman and directors have got a lot to do to make sure they're picking someone for the long term as well as the instant."
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image: © Steve Berry