Allardyce hails improving Pedersen

Rovers made it three wins in four Premier League games with a 2-0

victory over Aston Villa at Ewood Park on Sunday in which Pedersen

struck both goals, taking his personal tally to five in his last

five matches. That includes his scoring appearance in Norway’s game

against the Republic of Ireland last week, part of a raft of

international friendlies Allardyce branded “meaningless”. The

56-year-old vented his frustration that Brett Emerton returned from

duty with Australia carrying a hamstring problem and called on the

game’s governing bodies to set up a central insurance policy to

cover clubs for players injured whilst away with their countries.

Now, having been forced to withdraw Pedersen on Sunday as a

precaution when the winger felt a tightening of his hamstring,

Allardyce has hit out at the Premier League. Prior to international

week Rovers played three top-flight matches in eight days – far too

many, according to their manager. “Morten’s injury is a legacy of

too many games in such a short period of time,” said Allardyce, who

replaced the goalscorer with debutant Herold Goulon. “He played in

every game building up to the international week, then played for

Norway and scored a great goal before playing again here (against

Villa). “It is a fatigue injury, like the one we got with Brett

Emerton. I have criticised the Premier League for structuring the

fixtures the way they have – I think it’s wrong to have a

three-game Premier League week before an international week and I

don’t think there is any need for it whatsoever in the calendar

year. “There should be a little bit more thought given to the

squads of the lesser teams. We have ended up down to the bare bones

and bringing in players with not much experience. “It’s all right

people saying you have got to put them in sometime and somewhere,

but you live in my position and try to live with that. Everyone

says you win games or you lose your job, and that is the basis of

what we work under. “We need a bit of help from everybody when we

are in this position and I don’t feel the Premier League helped us

with the fixtures. “I know we have had a great run and people will

say ‘how can you moan about winning three out of four?’ Well, I am

and perhaps if I moan when we are winning, people will take some

notice.” Pedersen curled home a free-kick in first-half stoppage

time before getting a foot to Ryan Nelsen’s drive and diverting it

over the line in the 66th minute. Allardyce feels the former Tromso

man – who joined Blackburn in 2004 – is getting back to his best

and regards Pedersen’s signing of a new contract over the summer as

a vital piece of business for Rovers. “It’s not the best I have

seen him play – I came and watched him when he played for Blackburn

in his earlier days and I have spent many days at other clubs on

how to stop the quality that he has,” Allardyce said. “But he is

getting closer and closer because there are goals coming on the end

of his good performances and it shows what a key signing it was.

“We signed a free transfer this summer worth in today’s market

about £8-10million – a player with around 200 Premier League

games who scores goals and delivers balls in to the box. Where can

you find one of them for nothing?” Pedersen’s free-kick was the

third he has dispatched in recent weeks following similar efforts

against Wigan and the Republic of Ireland and although Villa

goalkeeper Brad Friedel got a weak glove to yesterday’s shot,

Allardyce insisted it was no accident. “Everybody said Wigan was a

fluke,” Allardyce said. “If one of the big boys does it, it’s

genius, but if Blackburn Rovers does it – oh, it’s a fluke. That’s

typical of what we have to put up with, but that is not what Morten

is all about. “He puts it in the right areas constantly and he has

put one straight in the back of the net, helping us on the way to

winning another game of football – brilliant.” The free-kick came

about due to an apparently needless foul on El-Hadji Diouf by

Stephen Warnock, much to the annoyance of Villa boss Gerard

Houllier. “The free-kick was avoidable and we need to learn the

lesson from that,” Houllier said. “There is no danger and we knew

they were very efficient from free-kicks and corners. “We can only

blame ourselves – we can’t complain about anybody but ourselves.”