Date: 30th November 2007 at 12:56pm
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Speaking to the assembled press ahead of the game against Rovers this weekend Sam Allardyce was in belligerent mood. In a piece of rhetoric, that alarming echoed those of Souness and Roeder when on their ‘last stands`, he called for the players to stand up and be counted:

“No one likes to be shouted at, but it`s part of the job and you have to accept that. Nobody wants to hear your own fans giving you abuse, telling you what you`re not doing and what they expect you to do, but you have to strive to make sure it doesn`t happen again.

I think every player has got to decide whether he can handle it or not. And if he can`t handle the heat then get out of the kitchen, because that is what will happen eventually. You`ve got to accept it when you play here, it`s a special place when things are going well and it`s a tough place when they are not.

We will find out if we have the players here who can cope with it. Shit will happen at times and it`s come our way. You`ve got to accept it because it deserved to come our way. Winning football matches wins fans over, nothing else. It doesn`t matter what you might say. If we`re winning, they`re happy – if we`re losing, they`re not.

I`m satisfied with the conversations we`ve had this week to try and resolve the problems, but the biggest way to resolve the problem is obviously to bounce back with a result. I think a few players have come here before and not been able to perform because of the pressure of playing for a big club like this.

I don`t know at this moment in time whether our players are good enough or big enough to handle the pressure because they haven`t had that much of it. We will find out. It will make me more resilient, more determined.”

I`m aware of it, your mates keep you aware of it and I`m aware of everything I need to be aware of. This is a one-club city with massive support so the outside influences and pressures are bound to be far greater than at a club like Bolton, which was a small club in the north west with six or seven Premiership clubs around it. But the principle is the same for me. You have to keep your feet firmly on the ground and move forward, keep striving for success in the best way you can. And, when you`re as experienced as me, you don`t let any distractions put you off doing what you know is right.

We`ve got what we`ve got, we`ve got to work through it together and stop conceding sloppy goals. We`ve got to get through this slightly difficult time we`ve had. At end of the day we`ve not had a win in four, it`s not, not had a win in ten.”