Date:Wednesday September 23 2009
Blackburn Rovers might have only narrowly beaten Nottingham Forest in the Third Round of the Carling Cup on Tuesday evening but the victory was the most important thing.
Rovers manager Sam Allardyce made a host of changes to his starting XI including giving a debut to young defender Phil Jones and was delighted with the win and also feels that the match time that players got will be beneficial to them and Rovers.
Allardyce told Sky Sports: "Overall I'm delighted. It was a tough match like we expected and we came through with no injury problems and gave a lot of players some really good football to catch up with match fitness.
"With a squad of our size it's important to give players some high quality time on the pitch. We made 10 changes and it disrupted the team initially as they are a group of strangers playing together, really.
"We had two exciting lads making their way in the team in Junior Hoilett and a young lad who made his debut at the back and looked like he'd played there for a number of years in Phil Jones."
The match was decided by Benni McCarthy's first half free-kick, which was whipped in and avoided everyone before going in. Many would question that this was intended, however, Allardyce insists that this was a planned move and this style of free-kick is what the team work on in training:
He added: "Benni meant to do that, we practice it in training all the time.
"We always practice to hit the target as the goalkeeper can't do anything about it as there's a cluster of players there that may get a touch.
"So if someone gets a touch it can go in and if someone doesn't the goalkeeper is left stranded and it goes in the back of the net."
It wasn't just Benni's goal that proved crucial as a penalty that Jason Brown saved from Dexter Blackstock was also something that made all the difference and Welsh International Brown also earned praise from Big Sam for this.
Allardyce also added: "That outstanding free-kick and Jason Brown's absolutely superb penalty save from a very well-taken penalty was the quality that won us the game.
"I was disappointed with the decision of the referee to give the penalty as it could have thrown us into extra-time which we wouldn't have wanted, but we overcame it I'm glad to say."
A win, and avoiding Extra Time was the most important thing for us and we can now take our place in Round Four!!
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Date:Wednesday September 23 2009
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