Keen - WBA duo unaffected by rumours

  • Last Updated: January 14 2013, 16:20 GMT

West Brom number two Kevin Keen does not expect QPR transfer targets Jonas Olsson and Peter Odemwingie to be affected by speculation over their future ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup third round replay with Harry Redknapp's side.

Olsson: Linked with a January exit from West Brom

QPR had a £5 million bid for Olsson rejected last week and a £2 million offer for Odemwingie has been met with the same response from the Baggies.

But Keen is confident the performance of the duo, key figures in Albion's fine form during the first half of the season, will not be undermined by the link with Rangers.

Keen said: "Is QPR's interest unsettling? It is something out of my realm. But, if the boys you are on about play tomorrow night, I know they will be fantastic.

"They are experienced and they will get on with it and do their best for West Brom.

"What do you think about Redknapp talking about Albion players? That is Harry being Harry."

Keen played under Redknapp two decades ago at West Ham, when he was number two to Billy Bonds, and is backing him to keep QPR in the Barclays Premier League.

But he also believes Redknapp will take the FA Cup seriously and stressed it is a competition West Brom are aiming to make progress in.

Keen said: "I think Harry can keep QPR up. I've been in certain scraps. I was at West Ham as first team coach in the Carlos Tevez year when West Ham won six out of eight to stay up.

"I think QPR can do the same. I think their home form is going to be important to them and if they pull out a result, like Reading did against us on Saturday, then they can get out of it.

"Harry has installed a new feel into the club. The couple of results they got over Christmas has given them a bit of confidence that wasn't there.

"But I also think they will want to progress in the FA Cup. They've not got European competition, similar to ourselves, so it is not like there are a load of games coming up.

"I've been in clubs where you've been down the bottom and playing in the cup is a refreshing change.

"Players play with more freedom rather than the pressure of relegation. They will come and have a go and certainly we are up for it as well."

Keen was first-team coach at Liverpool last season when they reached the FA Cup final and believes Albion have players who are hungry for success.

He said: "For me, after 29 years in football, to get to an FA Cup final was tremendous, one of the best days of my life even though you end up losing the game.

"The way the supporters react, the atmosphere was unbelievable and we will be going all-out to try and get that feeling for the West Brom fans.

"Even though it is only the third round, if you can get to the fifth-sixth round, the excitement builds and it's a long time since this club has had major success.

"I can't think of too many of our players that have played in an FA Cup final.

"There is enough enthusiasm for this competition and people want to achieve and get their names on West Brom Albion honours boards and be forever remembered. That is what players play for."


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