Home form gives Sam hope
Rovers boss looking to secure survival against Pompey
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: 08/05/09 2:26pm
Allardyce: Almost safe
Sam Allardyce is hoping Blackburn's home form will see them safe this season.
Ewood Park has become something of fortress since Allardyce took the reins in December, with only one defeat suffered in nine outings.
That run has helped to keep the club clear of the Premier League relegation zone and boost survival bid.
Rovers currently stand on 37 points, six clear of the bottom three, and Allardyce believes another success at home to Portsmouth on Saturday should be enough to secure their top flight status for another year.
"I would consider us safe if we make it to 40 points. Let's do it tomorrow with two games to spare," he said.
"It will be a tense, nervous affair. We know that one win wherever can change the whole shape of the table. We have to use all our experience.
"There has been a great turnaround of form at Ewood Park and it could have been even better.
"Four wins, four draws and only one defeat is very good considering where we started from.
"The players look forward to playing at home especially as there has been such a good atmosphere the last few games.
"The key has been our good defensive work. That has given the attacking players a platform to work on to get the goals we need to win a game."
Allardyce will not risk Jason Roberts this weekend, despite the need to claim priceless points, with the striker still feeling the effects of a recent stress fracture of the foot.
"We cannot take any chances that the bone might break again," said the Blackburn boss.
"We will leave it for now and hopefully he will get a game in before the end of the season."
Meanwhile, on-loan full-back Danny Simpson has returned to Manchester United after struggling to force his way into the fold of late.
Allardyce said: "Danny wanted to go back and train with them as his first-team appearances here have been limited. We allowed him to do that after he played for the reserves in midweek."