Date:Thursday March 12 2009
Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce has spoken out in defence of Keith Andrews following his rise in importance to our Premier League relegation battle.
Andrews has seen a split of opinion on him since his arrival at Ewood Park under former Rover manager Paul Ince (when he brought the midfielder in from his former club Milton Keynes Dons.) However, the Republic of Ireland International (as he has come since moving to Ewood) has become a regular in Allardyce's side and he has identified Andrews as a key figure to our relegation battle and feels he is only being snubbed by many due to the fact that he came to Rovers from a League One side and not a glittering more world renowned name.
Allardyce said: "I don't know why - perhaps because he came from MK Dons rather than from Lazio I suppose.
"It doesn't matter where you come from, if you're good enough and talented enough you can play. I think he's had a first season that has perhaps been a lot better than he imagined - he's been involved a lot more and he's learning every week.
"He knows he still has a lot to learn but he's got the enthusiasm and the drive and the desire to help get us out of this position and with goals at the end of that, that's really what you're looking for."
Many viewed his signing as Ince looking out for an old friend, but Incey always maintained that was not the case and for Big Sam to be using Andrews it certainly means that this can't be the case. Andrews is a typical Big Sam type of player, so he will continue to feature prominently for the remainder of this season at least.
Had Andrews arrived at Ewood from a team like Lazio (as Big Sam mentioned) then no one would have cared or batted an eyelid, so in a way it is snobbery that was/is seeing him dismissed so easily by so many. Personally I'm not convinced that he has the quality to be a regular in the starting XI week-in-week-out next season, however, Andrews is exactly what we need at the moment and will continue to make an excellent squad member in the years ahead as swell.
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Date:Thursday March 12 2009
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