Allardyce revels in Rovers finish

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Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce hailed his side's "fantastic" finish to the season after seeing them seal a top 10 spot in the Barclays Premier League with victory at Aston Villa.

Rovers made it four top-half finishes in the last five years as they came away from Villa Park with a 1-0 win courtesy of Richard Dunne's own goal six minutes from time. The result followed last Monday's 2-1 victory over Arsenal and means Allardyce's side were beaten just once in their last nine games.

"Arsenal 2-1 and Aston Villa 1-0 - it's a fantastic finish to the season for us and shows you the difference that a couple of wins makes," Allardyce said.

"Instead of perhaps 14th in the table, which we would have been quite satisfied with, we have now beaten two of the big guns in the Premier League.

"It will hopefully make a big difference to our budget in the summer."

Dunne wrapped up the points for Rovers when he attempted to head away Martin Olsson's dangerous cross, beating Junior Hoilett to the ball but inadvertently directing it past Brad Friedel and in.

Allardyce was delighted to see his team selection rewarded, having decided to give a run-out to several youngsters, including debutants Grant Hanley and Amine Linganzi.

"It was nice to not have to worry about the result too much - even though we wanted the money - and to play younger players again," Allardyce said.

"To give them a taste of the Premier League against an Aston Villa side that was at full-strength, I knew it was going to be very difficult and certainly in the first half, it was.

"But we battled our way through and when we changed the system a little bit and got a bit more forward movement, we finally caught them on the break with a terrific goal."

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