Allardyce hoping for 'Midas touch'
New Blackburn boss chasing a bit of 'Redknapp luck' as he tackles first EPL fixture.
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2008 17:56 GMT

Sam Allardyce is hoping for a little bit of luck with Blackburn [GALLO/GETTY]
Sam Allardyce began his mission to haul Blackburn out of the relegation zone, hoping to emulate Harry Redknapp's success with Tottenham.

The 54-year-old Allardyce takes over from Paul Ince, who was fired on Tuesday with Blackburn just one point above last-place West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League standings.

Allardyce knows preserving Blackburn's topflight status will be tough, but takes comfort from seeing how Redknapp has lifted Spurs from last to 15th in the 20-team league in less than two months.

'Midas touch'

"I hope I have a Harry Redknapp Midas touch when it comes to Saturday,'' Allardyce said.

"Harry has gone into Portsmouth and then into Tottenham and things have become very rosy almost instantly.

"So I hope that work ethic on Saturday and that bit of luck and the quality of our players comes through in a very difficult fixture against Stoke City.''

Allardyce signed a three-year contract on Wednesday, ending an 11-month exile from management that followed his firing by Newcastle in January after eight months in charge.

Before that he led Bolton into the Premier League in 2001, incidentally the same year Blackburn rejoined the division they won in 1995, and left in 2007 after four consecutive top-eight finishes.

"You can never say you are too good to go down - clubs have fallen foul of that before - but the players have to play to the maximum of their ability to get us out of trouble, hopefully as quickly as possible,'' Allardyce said.

"I've been there before and now the players must respond very quickly.

"I hope the players will repeat the form that they've shown in the past.

"I'm hoping this is a blip, that this is a poor run of form they can overcome with my guidance.''

Chairman John Williams will open his wallet in the January transfer window [GALLO/GETTY]
Pressure time

Blackburn chairman John Williams said he was forced to let Ince go after just six months because "time is running out,'' adding that there was one overriding factor that drew him to Allardyce.

"It was experience,'' Williams said.

"He's been there, done it.

"It's a difficult job given where we are now, but we feel we have got the right man who can pull us through.

"We're a similar-sized club to Bolton and we came up together, with Fulham.

"All three clubs are still there and we want to be certain we're not the one that breaks that particular achievement.''

Williams said he would back Allardyce with funds in the January transfer window if needed.

"There's a general feeling we're perhaps underachieving and should be higher in the league, but we'll do our best to support him,'' Williams said.

"We always have done that with our managers, we've usually managed to give
them every penny we have got - and some that we haven't got.''

Allardyce has appointed Neil McDonald, a former member of his Bolton backroom staff, as an assistant and is planning another addition to the coaching team.

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