Blackburn boss Steve Kean has stripped Christopher Samba of the captain's armband following the defender's recent comments when he stated he wanted to leave the club.

Kean had to endure boos at the final whistle on Sunday after goals from Robert Huth and Marc Wilson helped end Stoke's run of three Premier League games without a win. Samba was absent due to injury, but he faces an uncertain future under his new boss.

Kean, given the job until the end of the season, said: "We can understand the frustration of the fans and we are just as frustrated in the dressing room. There has been upheaval at the club but I don't want to make excuses because that is not the way I am.

"I was disappointed with the goals we gave away. When you look at the personnel that we don't have available it is difficult to get that balance in the middle. But that is no excuse because the lads put in there understood their roles.

"Christopher would have played but he wouldn't have been captain because at the moment he is looking to possibly get away from the club. Until he can come back and say he is happy to stay I think we'll look elsewhere in the club. He would have played but he failed a fitness test today.''

Delighted Stoke boss Tony Pulis hailed his side for the way they responded to their home defeat to Blackpool two weeks ago and bounced back to take the points.

"That defeat was very hard to take and it was important to bounce back and I thought we deserved to win the game today," Pulis said. "I was disappointed it was 0-0 at half-time and I don't know how Matthew Etherington missed his chance. We had a couple of golden opportunities and didn't take them.

18546 - Samba stripped of Blackburn captaincy

"But in the second half we stepped it up a bit. I was really pleased with Robert's goal because our return off set-plays has not been as good as it could have been.''

And Pulis also had words of encouragement for Kenwyne Jones, who has still not scored since his strike against Liverpool last month but who was only denied by a super save by Paul Robinson.

Pulis added: "Kenwyne played very well and led the line. I have no doubt that Kenwyne is going to be fine. He just needs a bit of luck and one to go in off someone else's backside.''