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."