Robinson backed for World Cup
Sam Allardyce has backed Paul Robinson to make England's World Cup squad despite his injury blow.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 19/03/10 1:42pm
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has backed Paul Robinson to make England's World Cup squad despite being ruled out for up to a month.
The Rovers goalkeeper hobbled off to a standing ovation in the 3-1 defeat at former club Tottenham last week and the injury has been confirmed as a torn calf.
With the World Cup looming, it was feared Robinson's chances of claiming an England recall had been dashed.
But Allardyce insists that despite the injury, the 30-year-old's hopes of snatching a place in Fabio Capello's squad for South Africa are still very much alive.
"He'll be back well before the season finishes and he'll have plenty of games to play when he does come back," Allardyce told Sky Sports News.
"He's had an outstanding season but he's found it difficult to push himself into Fabio's squad.
"But if he gets back and performs like he has done this season then hopefully he'll be selected."
Robinson was dropped by previous boss Steve McClaren following the Euro 2008 qualifying defeat in Russia in October 2007.
The 41-cap keeper has restored his confidence since joining Blackburn in the summer of 2008, though, and his club form has gradually pushed him back into the international frame.
The former Leeds shot-stopper earned a call-up to Capello's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra last June, although he did not feature.
But Robinson has remained in good form as Rovers have struggled in front of goal this season so Allardyce hailed the job he has done in helping them into 12th place, some 10 points clear of the relegation zone with eight games remaining.
"We've suffered from a lack of (scoring) goals so your clean-sheet scenario and not conceding goals becomes very important to you," said the Rovers boss.
"We've had some lapses where we've conceded a lot of goals but they've been in games away from home, like Arsenal (6-2) or Chelsea (5-0), and we conceded six and five.
A big help
"The rest of it has been pretty good and that's been a big help in getting us where we are today."
Defender Ryan Nelsen, who is set to captain New Zealand at the World Cup, has missed the defeats at Liverpool and Tottenham with a knee injury.
But Allardyce insists Rovers must regroup for the home games against Chelsea (Sunday) and Birmingham (Wednesday).
"It's going to be a few weeks (for Robinson)," he added. "The injury's been assessed and he's got a tear in the calf muscle so it could be anything up to four weeks.
"We'll do as much as we can to improve that period of time so that and Ryan Nelsen are blows to us, but it happens at some stage in the season and you've got to be able to cope with it."