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Sam says Rovers can relax

Sam Allardyce believes Blackburn can afford to "relax" ahead of Sunday's east Lancashire derby at Burnley after virtually guaranteeing Premier League survival with victory over Birmingham yesterday.

David Dunn -- who spent three and a half years with Birmingham before rejoining Rovers in 2007 -- netted a brace against his old club at Ewood Park, opening the scoring by firing past Joe Hart after just five minutes.

The result moved Allardyce's team 14 points clear of the drop zone with seven games to play, a scenario the manager feels has eased the pressure before they make the short trip to Turf Moor this weekend to play their relegation-threatened neighbours.

"The victory was the most important thing and we've got that, leaving us with a very good opportunity to play our local rivals on Sunday with less fear," the Blackburn boss said.

"We can go there, relax, just try and enjoy the game as best we can and see if we can play and get a result."

Last night could have been even sweeter for Dunn had referee Mark Clattenburg not disallowed his emphatic strike just before half-time.

"Dunny could be sat, with a hat-trick ball, but it doesn't really matter now because we've won and he has scored two. He is very happy, as all the players are," Allardyce said.