Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce backs Kalinic to shine

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce is backing Nikola Kalinic to make his mark in the top flight this season.

The striker scored the winner in the 1-0 victory against Everton at Ewood Park to get his side off to a flying start. Kalinic took advantage of an error by goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 14th minute and that was enough to seal the victory.

Allardyce said: "It was a great piece of ability by Kalinic and maybe overshadowed by Tim Howard's mistake. To capitalise on it fully with a really good swivel and finish was obviously why we bought him. It gives him huge confidence to score more goals in the Premier League. I think he will providing we can give him the opportunity to do so."

Everton manager David Moyes refused to condemn Howard, who spilled the ball after racing out of his goal to make the clearance and Kalinic took advantage.

Moyes said: "The goal changed things. It happens. It was costly, though, a deciding moment in the game. But Tim has been really good for us."

Blackburn remained solid and the victory came on an emotional day with the club marking the 10th anniversary of former owner Jack Walker's death.

Allardyce said: "It's a big thing for a lot of people. If this has helped in anyway that is fantastic.

"We asked the players to start like they finished off last season. Everyone on the pitch did their jobs. There was a great chance for Martin Olsson before the goal while Mame Biram Diouf and Steven Nzonzi could also have scored.

"The lads know each other better than ever done. Nzonzi was disappointed he was not even in starting 11. That's the due to the emergence of Phil Jones.

"Everton did the double over us last season and to take three points off them is a big statement. Our expectations are about focusing on the first 10 games."


From Belfast Telegraph