Allardyce backs Barton after another defeat01/12/2007 - 18:44:07
Sam Allardyce took time out after Newcastle’s fourth defeat in five Premier League games to back Joey Barton.
The former Manchester City midfielder had gone public on matchday to express his anger at a section of the Newcastle support, saying some of the criticism during the recent run was “vicious”.
Newcastle had the backing of 6,000 fans at Ewood Park and their support never wavered despite their side going down 3-1 to Blackburn.
Allardyce said: “Joey is a strong man with a strong opinion. He likes to say what he thinks.
“But some of the interview he did was shredded and taken out of context.
“Joey’s commitment to Newcastle was there for the fans to see today.
“You could also see their commitment to him and the rest of the team.
“I have to say thanks to all those fans who made the journey.
“It is really difficult to take after the support we had, that we got nothing from the game.
“It was a terrific effort and we had lots of opportunities to win but this is the Premier League and it is a cruel place.”
Obafemi Martins made the breakthrough for Newcastle two minutes after the break with a glancing header.
That should have been the key to Allardyce’s side ending a dismal run but instead Blackburn drew level thanks to a superb free-kick from David Bentley in the 54th minute.
The England winger added a second by rattling a shot into the corner off the post 13 minutes later and Tugay wrapped things up in stoppage time.
To complete a miserable day, Newcastle pair Abdoulaye Faye (calf) and Stephen Carr (hamstring) were both injured.
Allardyce said: “We were in control of game for long periods but unfortunately we fell foul of being caught on the break. That is the disappointing thing for me.
“When we got in front, instead of going 2-0 up we went 1-1. At that particular time Charles N’Zogbia had a chance to make it 2-0 but was wrongly ruled offside.
“They go up the other and score. While I am bitterly upset at the result, the performance was excellent.”
Blackburn manager Mark Hughes was delighted at the way his team responded after the 4-0 home defeat by Aston Villa in midweek.
The only downside was that two-goal hero Bentley picked up a yellow card and is suspended for the match against West Ham a week tomorrow.
Hughes said: “We had a big disappointment on Wednesday when we did not defend our set plays particularly well. We lost the game as a consequence of that.
“The scoreline was not really a reflection of how we performed but in the second half today we played a lot better.
“Newcastle’s goal livened us up for we realised we had a situation to contend with.
“We had to dig in and compete. We saw our way through it and scored some great goals as well.”
Hughes paid tribute to Bentley by saying: “It was an outstanding strike and an important moment for us as it was the equaliser.
“That opened the game up and we got the run of the ball. David also got a good second goal, although his luck was in with the ball hitting the post.”
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