Absentees make things simple for Blackburn boss

Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce believes a quartet of injuries will make his selection decisions that bit easier ahead of Norwich City's Carling Cup visit tonight (8pm).

Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce believes a quartet of injuries will make his selection decisions that bit easier ahead of Norwich City's Carling Cup visit tonight (8pm).

David Dunn (groin), Vince Grella (calf), Pascal Chimbonda (broken nose) and Keith Andrews (groin) were all expected to feature in the second round clash but will now sit out as Rovers look to put their Championship rivals in their place at Ewood Park.

“The team selection isn't a difficult one because it is about playing the players who are in the first team but not playing at this moment in time,” said Allardyce.

“We are not blooding as many youngsters in terms of no experience as we did last year, we are blooding a few at the younger end but they've already had Premier League experience, never mind Carling Cup experience.


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“There might be only one that we might consider to play who hasn't much experience, but everyone else will have had plenty of experience either in cup competitions or in the Premier League.

“The disruption will be in changing the side a little bit might change the flow of the team. That is what we'll have to try and focus on - in keeping the flow and keeping the system working to its full potential and hopefully getting us through to the next round by winning at Ewood Park.”

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Allardyce's desire to win some silverware as a manager remains - with the Carling Cup a realistic way for him to seal his ambition.

And the cup should also act as a decent distraction from the pressures of surviving in the Premier League - something Allardyce feels is already on Rovers' shoulders following their 2-1 defeat at Birmingham on Saturday.

Next up will be the visit from Arsenal at the weekend, but Allardyce believes Rovers should be going into that game with back-to-back victories - the same way they finished last season.

“We have had some very encouraging performances against Birmingham and against Everton,” said Allardyce. “The disappointing thing is another win should have been in the bag and that would take the pressure off going into the international break.

“Now we play Arsenal and there is a huge amount of pressure on us to win another game at home. At the very, very least we should have got a point.

“The sad thing was winning the game was very important to our confidence as an away side. We have let it slip.

“It should have given us four wins on the trot and that breeds a lot of confidence. Now we have put ourselves back to square one. We can't let the fact we have had a bad result discourage us from playing good football.

“I think it is fair to say Birmingham won because Ben Foster was in goal for them. He produced outstanding saves. It is a pity he chose this game to prove his point. He was absolutely outstanding and it was as good a goalkeeping display as you will see in the Premier League all season.

“That is what good goalkeepers do for you, they win you points and he has won them three points.”

Things couldn't be brighter off the pitch, with speculation continuing to link Ahsan Ali Syed with an audacious bid to buy Rovers and pump �300m into the Ewood Park club.

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