Blackburn contain swine flu threat

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The Independent Football

Blackburn believe that the swine flu outbreak within the club is under control.

Rovers looked far from under the weather in their 5-2 Carling Cup victory over Peterborough last night, despite the build-up to the match being dominated by talk of their players suffering with the virus.

On Monday Sam Allardyce confirmed that three unnamed members of his squad had come down with swine flu and that it had been within the camp for a number of days.

But there was little evidence of any ill effects amongst those playing in last night's match - including suspected victim David Dunn, who came off the substitutes' bench - and afterwards assistant manager Neil McDonald said there were no new cases to report of players having fallen sick.

"It's under control. We had a squad up on Monday and everyone came through from that squad which was great," McDonald said.

"We will monitor it on a 24-hour basis. Everyone seems okay."

The Health Protection Agency has warned players that spitting on the pitch could increase the risk of passing on infection during matches and McDonald said that the club was doing everything in its power to ensure the virus did not spread.

"I'm not a medic so I don't know how it is passed on, but you can spit, cough, sneeze - anything that comes out of your body is how it is passed on I suppose," he said.

"I think there is always a problem in it spreading, but we are doing our best to try and contain everything by doing the right things and monitoring everyone, and we will continue to do that.

"Hopefully it won't spread any more, fingers crossed."

Blackburn were pegged back twice by Peterborough having gone 1-0 and 2-1 ahead, but with the Coca-Cola Championship side reduced to 10-men after goalkeeper Joe Lewis was sent off, Rovers soon powered ahead to seal a comprehensive 5-2 victory and a place in the quarter-finals.

Summer signing Nicola Kalinic scored the fifth from the penalty spot - his first goal in English football - and McDonald said the Croatian striker was adapting well after his move from Hadjuk Split.

"He has created a couple of good chances and to get that first goal will take the pressure off him of course - but that's against Peterborough," said McDonald.

"It takes time for a foreigner to come into our English game and adjust to the pace, to the style of play and the physical and mental demands.

"He has been patient and we have seen glimpses of what he can do certainly. He'll only get stronger I'm sure."