Allardyce hits out at McCarthy's 'selfishness'

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The Independent Online

The Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce has condemned Benni McCarthy as "unprofessional" and said his conduct is symptomatic of the selfishness and disloyalty shown by many players.

The South African striker has stayed away from training for three days as he sent Blackburn a message about his desire for a transfer. His actions produced the desired result yesterday as Blackburn and West Ham agreed a fee for the 32-year-old, who had described a potential switch to Upton Park as his "dream move".

Allardyce had warned that if the clubs did not reach an agreement, McCarthy might encounter ill feeling from the other Rovers players. "What he's done is unprofessional but we will only do what is the best thing for Blackburn Rovers," Allardyce said.

"It shows you that the only loyalty a player has got is to himself. This is what we deal with today in football, there's not such a thing as loyalty as there used to be in the older days when I was a player.

"It's more about a selfish attitude they have and that's not just about Benni, that's all players today. If they want something they do anything to try and get it." Allardyce said McCarthy, 32, may have been badly advised. He added: "If he is trying to manipulate a move by staying away, it's not the right thing to do. Sometimes players will get advised wrongly and I think whoever is advising him to stay away is very wrong as he's done himself no favours."

Asked what his attitude would be to McCarthy if he was not sold this transfer window, Allardyce said several of the squad may have negative feelings.

He added: "It's not just about whether I would be happy to have him back in the squad it's whether the other players would be happy. We will cross that bridge when we come to it."

Blackburn have been linked with Turkey international Yildiray Basturk from Stuttgart, Stoke City's James Beattie and Eidur Gudjohnsen, andAllardyce added: "If those players are available we may start negotiations but the first thing would be to contact the club." One player who will not be moving is David Dunn who signed a new contract yesterday which will keep him at Ewood Park until 2012.

McCarthy is, of course, absent from the Blackburn squad for tonight's home match with Wigan Athletic as Rovers return to action following a weekend off because they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Aston Villa in the third round earlier this month. Chris Samba is suspended but David Dunn has recovered from a knock and is available.

Jason Roberts also comes back into the Rovers squad although midfielder Vince Grella is still sidelined with a thigh strain.

Allardyce wants his players to build on the form that saw them lose 6-4 in the Carling Cup semi-final to Aston Villa a week ago despite being reduced to 10 men. He added: "If we win, it's back to back victories in the Premier League and that is incredibly important. Wigan are a good side but we were not clinical enough when we played them before and drew 1-1, but we should have confidence to put in a good performance at home.

"It was very disappointing to go out of the Carling Cup at that stage but now we have only the Premier League to concentrate on."

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