Belfast Telegraph

Sam Allardyce vows to come back stronger with Palace after England blow

Sam Allardyce is confident he is "a better man" after his short-lived spell as England boss.

The 62-year-old is back in management with Crystal Palace and aiming to keep the lowly Eagles in the Premier League after being appointed two days before Christmas.

Allardyce stood down from his dream England role in September, just 67 days after taking up the job, following comments made in conversation with undercover newspaper reporters.

He led the Three Lions in just one match, in Slovakia on September 4, as an Adam Lallana goal deep into injury-time secured a 1-0 victory in the opening World Cup qualifier.

Now Allardyce has a challenge of a different nature on his hands, as he aims to revive a Palace side who have experienced a largely miserable year, aside from a run to May's FA Cup final.

That challenge starts at Watford on Boxing Day.

Allardyce feels scarred by his England experience, and said: "Yes, there's no doubt about that. It was a black, dark moment and one I wish had never happened in my life. But I can't dwell on the past, I'm not a past man. I'm 'what can I do in the future?'.

"I did achieve the goal, the ultimate goal, the ultimate dream - even though it wasn't long enough.

"I did achieve it, you can't take that away from me.

"Other circumstances, not the football side of it, meant the FA let me go, I have to accept that and move on.

"I know I'm the same man - I'm probably a better man for the experience. In adversity you've got to become stronger, and you've got to make sure you don't make those sorts of mistakes again. You learn from it.

"You have to look at yourself and move on."

Allardyce was surprised a Premier League offer came along as soon as it did.

Alan Pardew was sacked by the Selhurst Park club on Thursday and Allardyce was announced as his replacement the following day.

The Eagles sit one point above the relegation zone having won just once in their last 11 matches, however Allardyce has built a reputation as a man to tackle such trying situations.

"I didn't think anything would come up until the new year," Allardyce told Sky Sports News.

"But it's come up and I'm ready for it, I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it.

"Everybody sees me as this being what I'm good at on my past track record, and hopefully I can deliver again."

He has given up a family holiday overseas, but had no second thoughts when Palace came calling.

Allardyce added: "If I didn't feel right I wouldn't have taken the position.

"I've upset the missus again because we were supposed to be going to Dubai, so that tells you I'm right.

"We should have been going for New Year but she's as always supported me in taking this job.

"They'll still be going and I'll be here working away trying to turn Palace around as quick as I can."

Allardyce has never been relegated while at the helm of a Premier League club and his achievement of keeping Sunderland up last term was followed by his brief England assignment.

A range of controversial comments in the newspaper sting, including references to his England predecessor Roy Hodgson as 'Woy' and Allardyce's thoughts on third-party player ownership rules, meant it was a short-lived stint.

Gareth Southgate, a former Palace player, took over as interim England manager for four matches and was a ppointed as Allardyce's full-time successor on November 30 when he signed a four-year contract.

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