Allardyce not bitter towards Newcastle

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Sam Allardyce insists he harbours no bitterness towards Newcastle despite claiming he was not given enough time at the club.

Blackburn boss Allardyce returns to St James' Park tonight for the first time as a manager since he was sacked by the Magpies early in 2008 after less than a year in charge.



Allardyce said: "I have proved most of the time that when I get a football club it improves from where it was.



"That was going be the case at Newcastle but I was not given enough time, but there is no bitterness towards the club.



"I'm not sure that apart from Arsene [Wenger] and Sir Alex [Ferguson] anyone else has managed at this level for as long as I have.



"I take a huge amount of pleasure in having been able to sustain my ability in the best league in the world."



Blackburn are set to come up against Andy Carroll, who started to make his name during Allardyce's reign, and the Rovers manager believes he could become a fixture for both Newcastle and England.



Allardyce said: "I had Andy as a young man at Newcastle when I was there and you could see the raw talent.



"They love a number nine there and it's a big ask to live up to the expectation, but he's brave, he's fearless and he has exceptionally good ability, particularly aerially, as we saw against Arsenal.



"There are few players that could score goals of that type today and that's why he's such an exciting player.



"He's the sort of centre-forward that Fabio Capello likes, a big man up front.



"In the beginning it was Emile Heskey and we all know the one thing Emile couldn't give the England side was goals. He could make a lot of goals and could create opportunities but you had to rely on other players scoring.



"Then Peter Crouch has been tried and I think Andy Carroll is emerging now and on the back of a very good start to the Barclays Premier League - and six goals to boot - he deserves to be included in a friendly international.



"I think Fabio should let the lad have a little taste of what it's like at that level."



However, Allardyce warned that Carroll should take care not to follow the path of Michael Ricketts, who was capped by Sven-Goran Eriksson and then saw his career go downhill from there.



He added: "I can cast my mind back to Michael Ricketts getting a chance when I was at Bolton.



"He played in Holland for England for half a game and let that go to his head and his career almost evaporated from that day on.



"So it can be a very dangerous thing as well as a very, very good thing and Andy and everybody around him has to manage that if he gets the call that he deserves."



Blackburn have a number of injury problems with Benjani the latest to join the list of absentees.



The Zimbabwe striker suffered a hamstring injury against Wigan at the weekend and joins Steven Nzonzi, Vince Grella and Keith Andrews on the sidelines.

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