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Big Sam issues warning to Rovers

04 Aug 2009 15:38:10

Big Sam issues warning to Rovers

The players responded well to Allardyce's arrival in December and pulled themselves clear of the relegation battle with a couple of matches remaining. Despite those achievements 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," Allardyce told the Lancashire Telegraph. "What happened last season makes no difference to me, it is what happens this pre-season and what happens in the next two games and what is going to happen on that stupid international friendly week." 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. A deal has been agreed with Hadjuk Split but the player, who will cost Rovers £6million, must satisfy the strict criteria required to obtain the necessary paperwork to play in this country. Providing he encounters no problems he will join up with fellow new signing Franco di Santo, who moved from Chelsea on loan until January. Another new arrival joined Rovers on Tuesday when Steve Kean was appointed first team coach. 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. "We had numerous applications for the first team coaching position and Steve stood out above the rest through his personality, experience and knowledge of football at the highest level," said Allardyce. "We are very confident that he will become a key member of the team behind the team, as we drive things forward." Rovers have also promoted assistant chief scout Martyn Glover to head of player recruitment. "Both Steve and Martyn have taken on positions of great responsibility and I know that Sam is very happy indeed with both appointments," said chairman John Williams. "The contribution of a club's backroom team can never be overstated and we feel we have an excellent team in place." Blackburn 1/2, Draw 11/4, Hibernian 9/2


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