Allardyce Points The Finger At Atkinson
Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce discusses his thoughts on our Carling Cup defeat at Aston Villa on Wednesday with Sky Sports.
Rovers' Carling Cup dream ended on Wednesday after a 6-4 defeat at Villa Park (meaning we lost 7-4 on aggregate) but this wasn't without some controversial moments that Allardyce believes costs us a place at Wembley. After going 2-0 up through Nikola Kalinic former Rover Stephen Warnock (after a foul on Ryan Nelsen from Gabriel Agbonlahor) put Villa back in the match and then television replies seem to show that Agbonlahor handled the fourth Villa goal.
Allardyce told Sky Sports News: "I have just been looking at the fourth goal, I can believe what I have seen today - not just one decision, but Agbonlahor's handball, Milner shot going wide and it hits both his arms and goes in.
"The big one is the first one [Warnock goal], yes we could take some responsibility but that is the major one and that is what has cost us most of all."
Big Sam also bemoaned the sending off of Christopher Samba towards the end of the first half as he felt it was harsh, however, he didn't blame the referee (Martin Atkinson) for that as by the letter of the law the defender had to go.
He added: "He perhaps tackled with the wrong leg and he has a split second to make a decision. They want to outlaw tackling and because this looks like a penalty he has given it. I can't blame him for sending him off as that is the rule, even though it is a daft rule - he was trying to make a genuine attempt for the ball."
However, in general it is Atkinson that Big Sam feels should take a large amount of the blame for our Semi-Final exit.
Allardyce also said: "He was a major factor, no doubt about it and the players are majorly disappointed, we didn't have this in the first game.
"The club itself have had six semi-finals in recent years, and if you lose it is the hardest thing to take. It is not often you get the chance to get there, and you don't want to be blaming yourself and unfortunately we can look at other people and say they are to blame."
Atkinson (and his officials) did make some wrong decisions, however, even without these and had the two controversial goals been ruled out then we would've still conceded four goals and gone out. I know that things could've been different had this happened but we're out and no amount of blaming people for this will change it, it's hard but we'll accept this and have to hope that the fighting performance (with ten men for most of the match) can be carried forward into the Premier League now and we'll build on our win over Fulham from last Sunday.
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