Allardyce restarts war of words with Benitez

Sam Allardyce has reignited his feud with Rafael Benitez, declaring the Liverpool manager's criticism of Blackburn Rovers a "cover-up" to disguise how poor Liverpool are.

Liverpool had all but blown their chance of finishing in the top four, said Rovers manager Allardyce, 10 days after the 2-1 defeat for his side at Anfield which was characterised by another war of words between the two. "It was a good cover-up by Rafa because he knows how bad his side were and that was repeated against Wigan on Monday," Allardyce said of Benitez's latest criticism.

"He's got personal with it for many, many years now. That's why I don't like him and the feeling is probably mutual. I don't get personal with him; I get into him and under his skin, yes, but that's all part of the game. The tit for tat will probably go on until one of us is no longer a Premier League manager."

Allardyce, whose team travel to Tottenham tomorrow, said of Benitez's top four aspirations: "This time it looks pretty difficult, having lost against Wigan. They are having to rely on other teams slipping up now.

Benitez did not respond in Lille last night. "No comment. No publicity for him," he said.

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