Allardyce hits out at Ancelotti

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Sam Allardyce has taken a swipe at Carlo Ancelotti for becoming the latest big-name coach to belittle his Blackburn side.

Chelsea manager Ancelotti accused Blackburn of playing a long-ball game during the second half of Sunday's 1-1 draw at Ewood Park, a result that damaged the Blues' title aspirations.

Allardyce appreciates such a tag has followed him around since his time at Bolton, and whilst insisting he can handle the criticism, he believes it is unfair his Blackburn players are tarnished with the same brush.

"The performance in the second half, irrespective of what Ancelotti said that we played long and all that rubbish again, shows we have another top coach who is unable and unwilling to give us the credit we deserved, which is a bit of a shame," said Allardyce.

"Considering how many top players we had out, which was more than Chelsea, it was a fantastic result and a great performance in the second half with some really good football played.

"There's no doubt I have this tag, but just because it has followed me - which as I've always said is a perception not a reality anyway - it shouldn't apply to my players.

"As always, when you're one of the smaller clubs that gets a big result against one of the big boys, then you very rarely get the praise you deserve.

"In particular, it now seems, from the coach you are up against, which is a great shame.

"Ancelotti is a big man in the world of football, but for me he has come down in my estimation after listening to his interview on Sunday."

Allardyce is adamant since he pitched up at Blackburn, his players have always attempted to play football, often causing their own downfall in games.

"I'm okay with it (the long-ball tag), but I just know it's not a true reflection of me or the team," insisted Allardyce.

"They have always gone out and tried their best, and particularly at home have been very entertaining and played some great football this season.

"Even away from home we've played far too much football, if you like, at places such as Liverpool and Tottenham.

"We've ultimately paid the price because we have ended up being exposed defensively due to our attacking flair in those games."

Allardyce maintains, though, he can read through the comments when the likes of Ancelotti and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refuse to give credit where it is due and instead taint the opposition.

"I even heard Wenger try to tag Martin O'Neill with it," added Allardyce with a smile.

"You have to try and read between the lines, and if you do then you might not see it the way they do, and instead see it in the correct manner.

"It's to cover themselves, their own deficiencies in the main, because your team has done better than theirs on that particular day.

"Because it shouldn't have done, they need to find some excuse to divert the attention away from themselves."

Allardyce is unlikely to come across such problems tomorrow when Blackburn face another typically hard-working side in Birmingham at Ewood Park.

Victory will lift Rovers 14 points clear of the bottom three and virtually guarantee their survival in the top flight for another year.

"With our form at Ewood Park, taking 13 points out of 15 in the last five home games, we should be looking forward to this one," added Allardyce.

"We've done a fantastic job at home, so as good a season as Birmingham are having, we have to view this as an opportunity for another win."

Allardyce, though, is again almost certain to be without goalkeeper Paul Robinson (calf), captain Ryan Nelsen (knee), Gael Givet (groin), Lars Jacobsen (hernia) and Vince Grella (calf).

Loan striker Franco di Santo is available after being ineligible to face parent club Chelsea, whilst midfielder David Dunn looks set to figure after coming off in that game with tightness in his calves.