Toon time holds no bitterness for Big Sam

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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 on Wednesday night 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."

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

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Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Newcastle United

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