Football

Allardyce has nothing to fear ahead of Burnley clash

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Sam Allardyce believes Blackburn can afford to "relax" ahead of Sunday's east Lancashire derby at Burnley after virtually guaranteeing their Barclays Premier League survival with victory over Birmingham.

David Dunn - who spent three and a half years with Birmingham before rejoining Rovers in 2007 - netted a brace against his old club at Ewood Park, opening the scoring by firing past Joe Hart after just five minutes. James McFadden equalised early in the second half with a fine free-kick before Dunn struck again in the 67th minute, heading home El-Hadji Diouf's corner to seal the win.

"The victory was the most important thing and we've got that, leaving us with a very good opportunity to play our local rivals on Sunday with less fear," the Blackburn boss said.

"We can go there, relax, just try and enjoy the game as best we can and see if we can play and get a result."

Wednesday night could have been even sweeter for Dunn had referee Mark Clattenburg not disallowed his emphatic strike just before half-time, with Michel Salgado adjudged to have committed a foul in the build-up.

"It was supposed to be for a foul on (Lee) Bowyer but if you look at it again, there has been much worse that has gone on, and I think it was a great shame when you've had a finish as good as that," Allardyce said.

"Dunny could be sat with the ball signed, with a hat-trick ball, but it doesn't really matter now because we have won the game and he has scored two. He is very happy, as all the players are."

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish acknowledged Dunn's role in his team's defeat, but felt Clattenburg had failed to spot two infringements that led to Blackburn's second goal.

"He scored the two goals and there is no doubt that Dunn is a good player,'' McLeish said.

"But they were gifts in my opinion and I also thought they had a helping hand in the decision which led to the corner. It was a clear foul on Roger Johnson (before the ball went out) - it would have been a foul anywhere in Europe or international football, because (Christopher) Samba is climbing all over the top of Roger."

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Topics:
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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