Sam relishing start of new era

Rovers, playing for the first time since being taken over by Indian
company Venky’s, beat Villa 2-0 at Ewood Park thanks to goals in
either half from Morten Gamst Pedersen. They were watched by
Venkateshwara and Balaji Rao, the directors of Venky’s, who came on
to the pitch to greet the home supporters before kick-off. Prior to
their £23million takeover being completed on Friday, the
Venky’s hierarchy had witnessed Rovers being defeated 2-1 by
Chelsea and 4-2 at Tottenham, and Allardyce was pleased now the
purchase had been finalised that his side could make it a winning
start to the new era. “I’ve met the new owners for the third time,
only briefly,” Allardyce said. “I think it was fair to say they
were well entertained here by the match against Chelsea, when they
came here for the first time before they had actually clinched the
deal. “Last week they watched the Tottenham game and we were well
beaten in the end, but now they have seen us win for the first
time. “Hopefully, like every Blackburn fan, the players and myself,
they will be very happy with the way we have won today and the
performance that was given. “I hope the next time we get to meet,
which I am looking forward to, we can plan the way forward from
here on in.” Venky’s spoke of modest targets after Blackburn
announced they were in discussions with them last month and
Allardyce accepts he will have to spend any transfer funds wisely –
although the manager is hoping the takeover will help him make sure
Rovers’ best players do not leave the club. “What is important is
to talk about the future, the short-term and the long-term – what
the owners have in their mind, and me expressing my desire from a
football point of view about how I think we should progress,”
Allardyce said. “I will be very interested and look forward to
working with them closely in helping this football club to be more
successful under their leadership. “I am excited – I would think a
new owner of a club would only want to take it forward. “This club
has had to live off it’s own steam recently and all it has done in
the last three years or so is sell its major assets. “I think if we
can stop that first and then progress to adding to those major
assets, then the club grows.” Pedersen opened the scoring in
stoppage time at the end of the first half by looping a free-kick
into the net, and struck again in the 66th minute, getting a foot
to Ryan Nelsen’s drive and diverting it home. The Norway midfielder
then had to be substituted after sustaining an injury which
Allardyce indicated did not appear to be a major problem. “We
picked up another injury to Morten which we don’t think is too
serious and Gael Givet was ill at half-time (and also came off),”
Allardyce said. “But the lads who came on did a good job. Overall,
we have more than deserved this victory.” Villa boss Gerard
Houllier was disappointed his team had not dealt with the corner
that led to Pedersen’s second goal, but felt the defeat owed more
to his players’ inability to make the most of their opportunities
to score. “I don’t think we gave a fair account of ourselves,”
Houllier said. “We had a couple of chances in the first half and
when you are away from home, you need to take those chances –
otherwise you can be punished. “We then conceded a goal probably at
the worst moment in the game, in (first-half) added time. “It puts
you in a different position because you know they are then going to
play deeper and more defensive, and deny us space. “The second goal
was just a tactical mistake, so the difference between the two
teams was a free-kick by Pedersen and a corner. “We showed better
initiative and passing afterwards and had we scored, maybe it would
have changed the morale of the team – but of course we didn’t.”