Sam wary of Delap threat

Rovers boss calls on side to stand up to Stoke man

Delap: Throw-in threat

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Sam Allardyce has urged his Blackburn players to be fearless in the face of Rory Delap's long throws at Stoke on Saturday.

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Rovers face a Potters side fresh from last weekend's triumph at Newcastle when they travel to the Britannia Stadium.

But manager Allardyce has called on his team to stand up to Stoke, starting with midfielder Delap's formidable throw-ins.

Expert

"Many teams have a long-throw expert in their armoury but Rory Delap is the best at it, that's the difference," said Allardyce.

"Rory Delap delivers the best Scud missile I have ever seen.

"Defending that makes life very difficult as often the goal is scored from a flick-on by your own defender.

"It's a weapon that has been evolving and now everybody talks about it but I say to the players 'it's still just a throw-in so don't get nervous and worried about it, get in your positions and go and attack it'."

Rovers have failed to take points from their last two visits to Stoke and Allardyce feels the arrival of Kenwyne Jones has only served to strengthen their attacking force.

He said: "The acquisition of Kenwyne has made them a bigger goal threat, and the physical presence of the side means you have got to stand up to them. If you don't, you can be overpowered and end up coming away with nothing as we have done in the last two seasons.

"For me it's not, as some people have suggested, over-physical. It's about big powerful players using their strength and their abilities to try and dominate the opposition and you have to be man enough and big enough to stand up to that."

David Dunn remains absent after sustaining a hamstring injury after nine minutes on the opening day of the season, and Allardyce feels last season's top scorer is paying the price for his over-eagerness.

Disappointing

"The disappointing thing with David is that he completed every single training session and every single game he was asked to play in pre-season," he said.

"The standard of his fitness being exceptionally good, then all of a sudden within 10 minutes of the opening game he just overstretched slightly and since then he's been over-eager to get back again as usual and I do think that he should be pulled back a little bit.

"We are faced with the fact that before David comes back nearly a quarter of the season might have elapsed. Being our leading goalscorer last season and one of our more creative players it is a massive concern for us."