Big Sam wary of 'lethal weapon' Delap
Sam Allardyce admits Rory Delap's long throws are like a "Scud missile" but has warned Blackburn to show no fear of the Stoke bombardment. Allardyce is anticipating a bruising battle at the Britannia Stadium but rejects suggestions that Tony Pulis' side are too physical. The Rovers boss insists his players must be "man enough" to stand up to Stoke - starting with dealing with the famous Delap throw-in. Allardyce said: "Many teams have a long-throw expert in their armoury but Rory Delap is the best at it, that's the difference. "Rory Delap delivers the best Scud missile I have ever seen. "Defending that makes life very difficult as often the goal is scored from a flick-on by your own defender. "It's a weapon that has been evolving and now everybody talks about it but I say to the players 'it's still just a throw-in so don't get nervous and worried about it, get in your positions and go and attack it'." Blackburn have returned from Stoke empty-handed in their last two visits and Allardyce believes the arrival of Kenwyne Jones has only increased the Potters' strength. He said: "The acquisition of Kenwyne has made them a bigger goal threat, and the physical presence of the side means you have got to stand up to them. If you don't, you can be overpowered and end up coming away with nothing as we have done in the last two seasons. "For me it's not, as some people have suggested, over-physical. It's about big powerful players using their strength and their abilities to try and dominate the opposition and you have to be man enough and big enough to stand up to that." David Dunn continues to be absent with a hamstring injury and Allardyce believes last season's top scorer has paid the price for being too keen to get back into the fray. Apart from nine minutes on the opening day of the season, Dunn has been an absentee and Allardyce added: "The disappointing thing with David is that he completed every single training session and every single game he was asked to play in pre-season. "The standard of his fitness being exceptionally good, then all of a sudden within 10 minutes of the opening game he just overstretched slightly and since then he's been over-eager to get back again as usual and I do think that he should be pulled back a little bit. "We are faced with the fact that before David comes back nearly a quarter of the season might have elapsed. Being our leading goalscorer last season and one of our more creative players it is a massive concern for us." Vince Grella is also missing with a hamstring but Jason Roberts is likely to be on the bench for the first time this season and Keith Andrews also back in the squad after injury.
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