Allardyce brands transfer window 'destructive'

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce today hit out at the Premier League's January transfer window, branding it "destructive" - but admits he is keen to use it in a bid to bolster his relegation-threatened side.

Allardyce has enjoyed a three-match unbeaten run since taking over at Ewood Park from Paul Ince but Rovers are still deep in trouble, lying next to bottom going into the New Year, and he is anxious to strengthen his squad.

The former Bolton and Newcastle manager has spent the last two days in talks with Blackburn chairman John Williams over potential transfer targets, although Rovers are in danger of losing striker Roque Santa Cruz in the transfer window which opens tomorrow.

Manchester City are thought to be keen to reunite manager Mark Hughes with the Paraguyan but Allardyce today insisted there have been no inquiries yet for Santa Cruz, who has yet to feature under the new boss because of a calf injury.

"There have been no bids whatsoever for Roque Santa Cruz," he said. "At the moment I'm more focused on getting him fit because I haven't seen him play since I've been here.

"I'm looking to getting him fit and producing the form that he produced last year to get us out of trouble.

"I'm also more focused on getting players in rather than players out.

"Certainly my focus over the last two days has been speaking to the chairman about that.

"We're both going to go out and try and improve our squad as quickly as possible."

Allardyce insists his current squad are good enough to keep Rovers in the Premier League and says it would not be disastrous if he fails with his wheeling and dealing in the transfer market.

"In the main, these players are good enough to get us out of the trouble we're in but any manager would always take a player if he thinks he can improve the squad," he said.

"The wealth of experience of Premier League football in this squad is massive. There is only Keith Andrews who hasn't got a great deal of experience in the Premier League.

"The rest of the side is massively experienced and, if they have enough desire and determination together as a team, they will get themselves out of trouble.

"And, if I can help by adding somebody to the squad I will do."

Allardyce added: "Everybody knows that January is not positive. It's a very difficult window to work in.

"Generally the inflation that comes with a window as small as this is in many cases bordering on diabolical.

"But, if you don't pay the money, you don't get the player and that's why lots and lots of money changes hands at this particular period.

"It's destructive, it causes so many problems for players and managers, you just want to get it out of the way most of the time and get on with your job.

"Lots of speculation flies around that you can't control that can actually disrupt your squad and your preparation.

"I've never been a lover of this system. It's never really worked correctly and it never will but I don't think we'll ever get it changed.

"Recently, people have taken a stance on it by saying we have to get all our players in at the start of the season and forget about January and that's a better way to go forward.

"But, from our point of view, finding that player or two that would improve the squad immediately is important because it would lift us all.

"There are fewer and fewer bargains now than ever before and, if there are bargains, there are more clubs chasing them than ever before.

"It becomes quite difficult and I think targeting a player is probably a litle easier than clinching it now, certainly if he is considered to be a bargain.

"We will try and get players than can make an impact on the team, otherwise I would prefer to go with the squad that I've got now, not lose anybody and make sure that we get out of trouble."

Meanwhile, Allardyce plans to rest several of his senior players for his side's next match, Monday's FA Cup third-round tie at non-League side Blyth Spartans, although midfielder Vince Grella is set to return from injury.

Assistant manager Neill McDonald will watch Spartans in action when they meet Gateshead in the Blue Square North tomorrow.

Comments