Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Don’t be gripped by fear, pleads Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce feels his players must “embrace” the experience of playing at Old Trafford when they take on Manchester United today.

Rovers come up against an unbeaten United side who have won six of their seven home fixtures in the Barclays Premier League this season, and Allardyce thinks it will be vital his team are not overawed by their surroundings.

“What I’m really concerned about is making sure that they go out and play their best because that will give them a chance to get a result,” Allardyce said.

“It's all right organising systems and saying ‘do this and do that’, but the players need to embrace the Old Trafford atmosphere and not be frightened. That can bring the best out of you and if it does, you can have a fantastic afternoon, and so can the fans. But it is always one of the most difficult places to get a result at.

“The reason for playing in the Premier League is to wait for the opportunity to come around and play at stadiums like Old Trafford. That is what you play football for, and if you shrink in that atmosphere, you really shouldn't be here — it has got to bring the best out of you. If you fear that, you be moved down the divisions very quickly.”

Allardyce added: “We're all human beings and human beings are prone to making mistakes.

“The pressures that are put upon us are the reason we make mistakes and that happens to us all, including the officials.”

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