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Looks like you've blown it, Rafa! Big Sam continues taunting Liverpool boss

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11 Mar 2010 17:29:40

Looks like you've blown it, Rafa! Big Sam continues taunting Liverpool boss

Sam Allardyce claims Rafa Benitez's criticism of him is a cover-up for how bad Liverpool are and claims the Reds have all but blown their chance of finishing in the top four.   Benitez last week mocked Allardyce's behaviour and Blackburn's style after their match at Anfield, suggesting that European champions Barcelona were going to model themselves on Rovers.  But the Blackburn manager has hit back by claiming he has managed to get under the skin of Benitez and that the Liverpool boss was just covering up for how badly his team played despite the Reds' 2-1 win.  Despair: Fernando Torres reacts during the defeat by Wigan Allardyce said: 'It was a good cover-up by Rafa because he knows how bad his side were and that was repeated against Wigan on Monday night.   'He's got personal with it for many, many years now. That's why I don't like him and the feeling is probably mutual. I don't get personal with him; I get into him and under his skin, yes, but that's all part of the game.  'The tit for tat between me and Rafa will probably go on until one of us is no longer a Premier League manager. I've managed to psyche out one or two here and there and that's how the Premiership has evolved over the last 20 years. But no, Pep Guardiola has not been in touch yet!' Allardyce said his team should take encouragement from their performance where they created a host of chances but only managed to score from the spot. He also believes Liverpool's result at Wigan leaves Benitez's side unlikely to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League.   He added: 'The last time one of the big four didn't finish in the top four it was Liverpool - Everton got that spot - and I think this time it looks pretty difficult having lost against Wigan.   Rivals: Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, (left) and Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce 'They are having to rely on other teams slipping up now. They have a wealth of experience and that may be a telling factor when the nerve ends start jangling. We saw what happened to Tottenham a few years ago with the famous 'poisoned lasagne' scenario - which was obviously never the case - and they let it slip.   'But I think it might be more difficult for Liverpool this time around because there are more teams involved. There's Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham in there and if Everton keep rolling on you might be surprised to see them making a late run.'   Benitez had pointed the finger at Blackburn's uncompromising style saying: 'I think it is a model for all the managers around the world, their style of football, his [Allardyce's] behaviour. The style of football I think Barcelona are thinking of copying.' Allardyce insists however that this shows he has won the psychological battle. He said: 'You do it to try to get your team in a position to get a result. Personal criticism is not the road I go down, and I don't personally criticise Rafa Benitez but I clearly get under his skin and that can be a benefit to my side when we play them.' Meanwhile, Vince Grella will miss Blackburn's match at Tottenham on Saturday due to a calf injury picked up in training but David Dunn is available after coming through a reserve match without any problems.   Liverpool will silence critics with victory in Lille, insists returning JohnsonRafa Benitez: We can't afford to play the blame game at LiverpoolLiverpool are a mess! Wigan chairman Whelan sticks boot into sorry Reds Rafa has a go at me to deflect from his own problems, blasts AllardyceLIVERPOOL FC


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