Allardyce: Rovers are on the rise

BY foxsports • January 28, 2010

Kalinic, a £6million summer buy from Hadjuk Split, has been slowly integrated into top-flight English football by Allardyce, and such patience is being rewarded. The Croatia international's 76th-minute winner was his sixth goal of the season, and his first in the league, but it was enough to give Blackburn a 2-1 win over Lancashire rivals Wigan at Ewood Park. It is now back-to-back league victories for Rovers, who are seven points clear of the relegation zone, and have key matches looming against West Ham, Stoke, Hull and Bolton over the next few weeks. A fair sprinkling of points from those and Rovers will be closing in on the 40-point mark, which usually is enough to guarantee safety. "We had numerous chances, scored two goals, and in the end we won the game comfortably," assessed Allardyce. "At times it was a bit scrappy, but it was a great, battling performance, and another three points. "It's the second time we've managed to get back-to-back wins this season, and what a difference it makes in the Premier League. "It has shot us up to 11th, and we've started 2010 really well, so let's keep it going, with everybody playing their part. "It's looking good for us. If we can go on a little undefeated run now, starting at West Ham, then we're looking okay." The win concluded a good day for Allardyce, who earlier completed a deal for Turkey midfielder Yildiray Basturk, who has signed a short-term contract until the end of the season. Basturk, though, has barely played in the last 18 months for former club Stuttgart and, while that is a worry, Allardyce is hoping he has unearthed another hidden gem. "If he can reproduce the form he has shown in Germany, then we're looking forward to him playing here," said Allardyce. "The lad is committed. He wants to play in the Premier League, and we're going to give him the chance. "I hope he is one of those gems I used to find at the old club down the road (Bolton) because he certainly has the quality and ability. "What we've got is someone who has been cast off at the club he was at, and he wants to test his ability in the Premier League. "I've had many of those so-called mercenaries in the past like Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff, Fernando Hierro, Ivan Campo, Bruno N'Gotty, Stelios Giannakopoulos, and they've all been outstandingly good players in the Premier League. "I hope this lad will do the same. He certainly has the pedigree anyway. "We will introduce him in two to three weeks' time, and let's see what he can do." While Allardyce is starting to breath a little easier, Latics boss Roberto Martinez is continuing to struggle to come to terms with his side's inconsistent football. Latics had a chance of at least taking a point when Gary Caldwell cancelled out Morten Gamst Pedersen's stunning 20th-minute strike with a 53rd-minute equaliser - his first goal on his second outing since his recent move from Celtic. But Kalinic had the final say to leave Martinez disappointed. He said: "Our first-half performance wasn't good enough. We weren't ourselves at all, and we couldn't understand what was needed. "We made a few adjustments at half time, and I was delighted with the reaction because we controlled the game and imposed ourselves more. "You could feel after we scored we were going to be the team to win it, so to lose the game the way we did with a free header and lapse of concentration is very hard to take."


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