Big Sam will get the best out of Diouf

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Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce is convinced he knows how to get the best out of El-Hadji Diouf after watching the striker climb off the bench to salvage a point against Sunderland.

Diouf may not be everyone's favourite but Allardyce has kept faith in the Senegal star since their days at Bolton and continues to be rewarded with goals like the neat header which beat Marton Fulop 13 minutes from time to earn a 2-2 draw.

Allardyce said: "I know him probably better than anybody from my time with him. I know where he comes from and how he ticks and I try to support him and get the best out of him."

He added: "If he steps out of line he gets dealt with but in the main it's about producing the ability he's got on the field. Certainly he played a big part in coming off the bench to get us a point."

Diouf was one of three late changes made by Allardyce after Darren Bent's double for the visitors had threatened to heap more pressure on Rovers.

And after Diouf's goal, fellow late substitutes Franco di Santo and Nikola Kalinic came close to winning it as the home side finished strongly, Kalinic denied only by a superb Fulop save before Chris Samba flashed the rebound wide.

With his squad stripped by injuries and suspension, Sunderland boss Steve Bruce said: "I'm a bit disappointed we didn't manage to hold onto our leads but with the problems we've got I'll take a point."

Bruce described the first period as "possibly the worst game of football I've ever witnessed", as both out-of-form sides started cautiously and resorted to speculative long-range efforts.

But the game burst into life in the 52nd minute when Daryl Murphy moved into the Rovers box from the left and his cross was turned home by Bent after Ryan Nelsen had blocked Jordan Henderson's initial effort.

Rovers were level inside a minute through a fine low shot from Morten Gamst Pedersen, but Bent's coolly taken second in the 65th minute, running onto a superb through-ball from Henderson, had Allardyce understandably envious.

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Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
El-Hadji Diouf

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