Manchester United meet Blackburn today with manager Sir Alex Ferguson suggesting Rovers' owners were "off their heads" for getting rid of Sam Allardyce.

While victory for United today will see them end 2011 on top of the pile, a loss for their Lancashire rivals will condemn them to bottom spot. But just 14 months ago, Blackburn were safe in mid-table - even if they were about to suffer a 7-1 mauling at United's hands - and within weeks Allardyce was gone - part of Venky's attempts to reshape the club.

So, whilst Ferguson has been fully supportive of Allardyce's replacement Steve Kean, who has come in for so much abuse from his own fans, he cannot comprehend why Venky's acted as they did. And he said: "For anyone to sack Sam Allardyce, you would think they were off their head. He is such an influential and big personality. He was perfect for Blackburn."

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