Allardyce hails glut of goals

A remarkable 35 goals were scored in nine matches over Saturday and

Sunday, thanks largely to 6-0 wins recorded by Arsenal, Chelsea and

Newcastle. With Chelsea having also won 6-0 on the opening day of

the season, the competition has got off to an exhilarating start –

but Allardyce does not think it will last long. “We’re all so glad

to be playing football again,” said Allardyce, whose side have been

one of the more circumspect, involved in a 1-0 win and a 2-1 loss.

“I think we are all excited to be back on the field. “Apart from

the World Cup players, it has been a long time since last May for

us. “We were all looking forward to the season and we all think we

are better than we were last season. “You’ll either start very well

or you’ll get caught out – generally that’s the case until it

levels itself out after eight or 10 games. “As time goes on it gets

tighter and tighter as we get used to who all the new players are

and the new systems. “When the pressure comes on throughout the

season the results tend to level themselves out a bit. “It is

something that is exciting everyone but what you don’t want as a

manager is to be on the end of one.” Blackburn began their season

with a hugely encouraging defeat of Everton but then slipped up at

Birmingham on Saturday. Allardyce remains perplexed by the St

Andrew’s result, feeling his side deserved to return home with at

least a point. He said: “Everton was a big result for us and a big

performance. “But, going away from home, Saturday was a better

performance all round apart from a couple of slips defensively.

“Birmingham got two goals that overall they didn’t deserve but

managed to get. “The overall performance was very good,

particularly for 20 minutes in the second half but because we

didn’t bury the opposition – poor finishing and outstanding

goalkeeping – we didn’t get far enough in front to cope with the

rest of the game. “A little bit of panic set in and a couple of

errors they capitalised on. “Instead of getting at least a point we

had none when we should have had three. That is the cruelty of the

Premier League.” Blackburn return to action on Tuesday as they take

on npower Championship side Norwich at Ewood Park in the second

round of the Carling Cup. Allardyce intends to make some changes

with a tough game against Arsenal at the weekend in mind, but his

options are limited by injuries to Vince Grella, Pascal Chimbonda,

Keith Andrews and David Dunn. All four are doubtful and unlikely to

feature. Allardyce said: “The side will be very experienced but

there will be some of the younger element involved. “We’re looking

forward to the game, I think it will be a very good match. “Their

focus will be on the league and securing their position after

getting promoted but they will want to come and enjoy it and get a

decent scalp if we can. “We have to try to avoid that and be as

professional as we were last year at Gillingham, when we won the

game comfortably.” Meanwhile, Allardyce is hoping to sign Bulgarian

striker Ivelin Popov this week. The 22-year-old has been on trial

at Ewood Park but Rovers denied claims by the player’s club Litex

Lovech last week that a deal had already been completed. Allardyce

said: “We had a little look at him and we are in tentative

negotiations. “He is a very good young prospect but whether all the

numbers stand up is another matter.” Allardyce is anxious to

recruit more firepower to supplement Niko Kalinic before the summer

transfer window closes. He added: “I don’t want to be doing

anything after Friday of this week – I don’t want to be panicking

or judging the market in the last couple of days of the window.”

Former Manchester City and Portsmouth forward Benjani has also been

training with Blackburn this month with a view to a possible deal.