Premier League – Allardyce handed Blackburn job

Blackburn Rovers have confirmed Sam Allardyce as their new manager following the sacking of Paul Ince.

FOOTBALL 2006-2007 Premiership Newcastle United Sam Allardyce - 0

Allardyce has signed a three-year contract with the Lancashire club and will take charge for the first time against Stoke City on Saturday.

He will be officially presented at a press conference on Thursday.

The former Bolton and Newcastle manager has been out of the game for nearly a year but successful talks with Blackburn officials late on Tuesday paved the way for his return to work.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Blackburn Rovers are delighted to announce the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager with immediate effect.”

Allardyce takes over with Blackburn in the middle of a dismal run of form and in deep in relegation trouble.

Under Ince, the team won just three Premier League games and a run of six successive defeats, culminating in a 3-0 defeat to Wigan last weekend, has seen the club slip to 19th place, five points from safety.

Asked whether he would be given money to strengthen the squad, Allardyce told Sky Sports News: “We’ll wait and see.”

Rovers chairman John Williams had stressed how important it was to find a permanent successor to Ince quickly, and the hiring of Allardyce came just a day after the former England captain left the club.

Williams said: “You can’t underestimate how much of a boost a physical presence could have on Saturday for what is an absolutely mammoth game.

“Everyone needs to know how big this game is as this is a time the club really has to come together.”

Allardyce made his name at Bolton after taking over in October 1999.

He guided the club to the first division play-offs and an FA Cup semi-final in his first campaign before winning promotion to the Premier League a season later.

Allardyce resigned two matches before the end of the 2006-07 season and was appointed Newcastle manager in May last year.

Despite a promising start, heavy home defeats by Portsmouth and Liverpool led to him leaving this January.

The 54-year-old had recently been linked with the vacant position at Sunderland, but was installed as one of the early favourites to be offered the Ewood Park job following Ince’s departure on Tuesday.

A number of other candidates had been linked with the post, including Graeme Souness, Alan Curbishley, Alan Shearer, Gerard Houllier, Avram Grant and Steve McClaren.

Mike Hytner / Eurosport / Reuters