Date:Sunday May 10 2009
Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce is confident that relegation has now been avoided following the 2-0 win over Portsmouth on Saturday, which took us onto the "magic" 40 points.
Mathematically Rovers can still go down, however, this isn't going to be the case as the goals from Morten Gamst Pedersen and Benni McCarthy (to secure a third successive Ewood Park win) should be enough as Allardyce expects us to pick up more points, but is delighted that survival is virtually assured now.
Allardyce told Sky Sports: "Mathematically we might not be safe, but I think we are. With two games to go I expect us to pick up some more points as well, I don't expect us to switch off.
"Where we have got to in our quest to get out of trouble is magnificent and it was topped off by today's performance by a group of players that are committed and determined to make sure they're going to play in the best league in the world next season again."
Big Sam was full of credit to the players (which on the whole are the same ones that he inherited from former Rovers manager Paul Ince) who he believes deserve a lot of credit.
He added: "All credit goes to them. Over the 19 games I've been here, the achievements and efforts they've given have been well rewarded by getting to this magic 40-point mark.
"We have achieved 27 points in 19 games - that's half a season - so it shows you just how well we've done.
"We've clocked up a home record of five wins, four draws and only one defeat and we've just now finished with three home wins on the trot for the first time in three or four years, so we've done an unbelievable job."
The interviewer asked Big Sam what he thought the main difference between himself and Ince was, to which he answered: "Man management."
Also adding: "I think that you assess the situation in the very difficult circumstances that we were in and you try and understand the players, what they're feeling and try and alleviate their fears.
"You try to bring the positive mental side of them out and try and get them back to using their ability under the pressure that they're under.
"I think we've done very well and I think that, obviously, the backroom staff who have worked with me have worked exceptionally hard to get the players prepared.
"The players have gone out on the pitch and it has been a team effort on and off the field.
"And, for me, the fans have never been anything but supportive, over the last two games filling both ends and the players have responded to that."
We are staying up!!!
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Date:Sunday May 10 2009
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