Kalinic needs time to adjust to England, says Allardyce

Carl Markham
Thursday 10 December 2009 01:00

The Blackburn Rovers manager, Sam Allardyce, is happy to play a waiting game with his summer signing Nikola Kalinic, insisting the striker has been bought for the long term.

The 21-year-old striker has scored two Carling Cup goals since his £6m move from Hajduk Split but has yet to open his account in seven substitute appearances in the Premier League.

Allardyce, however, is not too worried by the Croat's failure to score as he is more concerned with ensuring the player is given every chance to adjust to English football.

The Rovers manager, who returned from heart surgery to watch his side's goalless draw with Liverpool at Ewood Park last Saturday, said: "You are sick to death of people asking, 'When is Niko going to play, when is Niko going to play?'

"That always happens at my level when you get anybody, on a free transfer or whether they were bought for £6m. We play them when they are ready and we expect the rest of the lads, who are experienced in the Premier League, to make sure we don't have to throw them in before they are quite ready.

"When they are ready and they go in, then they start getting the confidence they need to play in this league, because it is the hardest league in the world."

Allardyce added: "I am not going to throw anyone in too early because they might never come back. I use the example of one of the best strikers in the world – [the former Chelsea striker] Andrei Shevchenko. His confidence was destroyed because he got used before he was ready for the Premier League. The last thing we want when we spend £6m is for it not too work.

"It is not about working today or tomorrow, it is about working for the next four years of his contract."

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