I don't want another relegation fight, Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce tells Rovers
04 August 2009 04:01
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has warned his squad they must hit the ground running at the start of the season or risk another relegation battle.
The players responded well to Allardyce's arrival in December and pulled themselves clear of the drop zone with a couple of matches remaining.
But the Rovers boss expects more from his side this time around and with a few new additions he has stressed he will not be picking players on reputations alone.
He knows he has to begin the season well, with the visit of big-spending Manchester City on the opening day followed by matches against Fulham, Sunderland, West Ham and Wolves - all teams who are considered their immediate rivals.
'I don't have any dilemmas. We will play the team I consider to be the best XI against Manchester City, irrespective of what went on last season,' said Allardyce.
'What happened last season makes no difference to me, it is what happens thispre-season and what happens in the next two games and what is going to happen onthat stupid international friendly
Rovers hope to be able to officially announce the signing of Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic as soon as they have secured a work permit for the 21-year-old, while Steve Kean was appointed first team coach today.
Kean, who previously worked as assistant manager under Chris Coleman at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry, replaces Karl Robinson who left the club last month to be re-united with former Rovers boss Paul Ince at MK Dons.