Football

Win can be a launchpad - Allardyce

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Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce hopes the FA Cup victory against Sunderland will be just the spur his side need to climb the Premier League table.

A goal from Benni McCarthy three minutes from the end of extra time sealed a 2-1 win and set up a home tie with Coventry in the fifth round a week on Saturday.

He said: "I want us to build on this victory and keep that winning habit. Let's go on from here."

David Healy had given Sunderland the perfect start with the opening goal after seven minutes with a neat finish, but Aaron Mokoena equalised 30 minutes later with his first goal in almost two years.

That was as good as it got in normal time for Blackburn thanks to a string of fine saves from goalkeeper Craig Gordon, but he could do little about McCarthy's crucial header, which came following a free-kick from Carlos Villanueva.

While Blackburn have now gone nine games undefeated under Allardyce they are still in a precarious position in the league.

That is something the former Bolton boss is keen to remedy, starting with the home match against Aston Villa on Saturday.

He added: "Of course it will be very difficult against Villa but we are growing in confidence. There is a lot of quality in our squad. Hopefully we can give them a hard game and come out of it with something to show for our efforts."

Allardyce believes McCarthy is finding his form again because he is getting a run of games.

"Benni has started a few games and got a few goals in the process," continued the Blackburn boss. "He had been frustrated at his lack of starts. But it is difficult with three quality front men. I am really pleased about the creativity in the team but a little bit disappointed we are not scoring more."

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Topics:
Carlos Villanueva
Sunderland
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Aaron Mokoena
Aston Villa
FA Cup
David Healy
Coventry City
Craig Gordon

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