Saturday 24 March 2018

Allardyce hails quality strikes


Mark Staniforth

Relieved Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce hailed two "outstanding" goals, which swept his side past Wigan at Ewood Park. Morten Gamst Pedersen swung home a 58th-minute free-kick and Jason Roberts added a cool second eight minutes later before Charles N'Zogbia reduced the deficit late on.

"We scored two outstanding goals today which made the difference between us and Wigan," said Allardyce.

Allardyce reserved particular praise for substitute Roberts, who missed a golden chance against champions Chelsea last week but rebounded today with his nerveless 67th-minute finish. "Jason's never let us down at all ever since I've been here," he said. "While he was disappointed about the chance he missed last week, he gave us a very good performance. And again today he's not only had a good performance but he's scored the winning goal, which is what we want."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez criticised referee Kevin Friend for disallowing a first-half effort from N'Zogbia, apparently due to a foul on Pedersen in the box.

N'Zogbia played a superb one-two with Hugo Rodallega and burst into the area, where he squeezed between Pedersen and Michel Salgado before poking home. "I don't know what was wrong with N'Zogbia's goal," said Martinez. "Football is a game of contact and certainly when you come to Ewood Park there's a physical side to the game. I know the referee has got a very difficult job but that decision really cost us.

"If you look at the replay he (the referee) is in a good position so he must be guessing what happened. It was a low point for us and it was mentally hard to recover from that."

However, Martinez said he could take some positives out of the game after his side showed plenty of improvement from their dismal display at Fulham last week.

"I'm pleased with the reaction," he added. "We controlled the game and took risks and created a couple of good chances. We showed character to get a goal back but it was just one of those days."

Sunday Independent

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