Date: 5th March 2006 at 11:36am
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Caretaker boss Glenn Roeder has backed Sam Allardyce to take the manager’s job at St. James’ Park, even though some Toon fans would not take kindly to his ‘long-ball game’. Suddenly the ‘hoof the ball into the penalty area’ is back in fashion at Anfield with 10ft 13′ Crouch taking the game back thirty years, and Bolton have had some success with it … well, depending what you call success, of course.

But Roeder has impressed himself in the temporary role, without using Allardyce’s tactics, but he thinks Big Sam hasthe perfect credentials to take over at SJP.

Roeder: ‘Their football has been described as ugly. But what is ugly? Yes, Bolton play a lot of long balls, but I’ve watched them closely and most of the long balls are good passes.

‘Sam has led Bolton into Europe this season and he will get the best out of whichever players he works with. He’s been touted as a future manager of this club and that’s not a surprise.’

Despite being given the chance to pledge his future to the Trotters (not Del Boy and Rodney), Allardyce refused to dismiss rumours that he could be the next Toon manager.

The big man is being linked with the vacancy at Newcastle – although former Celtic chief Martin O’Neill is still the bookies favourite.

Allardyce: ‘If Newcastle had rung up and asked for me, like they did last time, the chairman would have told me and I would know that.

‘I don’t speculate on what would happen if the call came.’