Big Sam will welcome Warnock
Sam Allardyce feels Stephen Warnock deserves to get a good reception when he returns to Ewood Park.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 25/09/09 2:25pm
Sam Allardyce feels former Blackburn favourite Stephen Warnock deserves to get a good reception when he returns to Ewood Park for the first time.
Warnock left Rovers after 18 months at the club in August to join Premier League rivals Aston Villa.
The versatile left-sider seemed to get his career back on track at Blackburn after loan spells at Bradford and Coventry had broken up his time at Liverpool where he struggled for a run of games.
The 27-year-old performed so well in Lancashire that he even received a call-up to the England squad and Allardyce feels his efforts in a Rovers shirt should be recognised.
"I hope so, he has been a great servant to Blackburn," he said.
"He got the move he wanted and we got the money that matched what we felt his value was. We were satisfied with that, even though we were disappointed to lose our player of the year.
"When you see Manchester United selling (Cristiano) Ronaldo then you see it's a business.
Can't say no
"When somebody is giving you the sort of money that we got for Stephen, then you can't say no.
"I didn't want it to happen but in the end it did. I think that, as always as a manager, you learn to live with the difficulties that the transfer window brings your way.
"The best thing we did was we got the right price, then we moved on and after that we got a really good replacement in Pascal Chimbonda, so we don't miss Stephen Warnock perhaps quite as much as we expected.
"It's a fantastic move for Stephen, the right time in his career, so I've got no problems with that.
"We just hope he plays not so good on Saturday, we beat them and then after that he can go on to win as many things as he possibly can."
Allardyce knows how tough the encounter on Saturday will be. Rovers find themselves in the bottom three with four points from five games while Villa are flying high having won four matches on the bounce.
"We need to play the right way against a very tough Aston Villa side who have won all three of their away games on the trot," he added.
Play our best
"Tactically we have to be ready for them and as individuals we will have to play to our best tomorrow.
"If we don't do that then Aston Villa can pick you off and make life very difficult for you - as we found last season when they came here.
"We have to nullify a very potent, pacy, quick Villa frontline. If you leave them too many spaces as we did last season, they end up picking you off, and while you might be the best team in possession or have territorial advantage against Aston Villa it doesn't mean anything.
"We have to make sure our defenders are concentrating fully, even when we are attacking."