Tuesday, 23 December 2008


It wasn't just on the pitch where Sam Allardyce made a difference at his first game as manager of Blackburn Rovers. There was a distinct change of atmosphere in the media room too.
I was at Ewood Park a few weeks ago to see Blackburn play Sunderland. After the game, Paul Ince arrived in the media theatre for his post-match conference. A reporter from local radio started off with a series of questions. When he finished, Ince got up and departed, leaving the newspaper reporters stunned. They hadn't been given the opportunity to ask a single question.
This was typical of Ince's approach to the media. He didn't seem interested in working to the usual system and almost went out of his way to alienate reporters.
Allardyce, on the other hand, enjoys his media opportunities and will usually find time to deal with the different demands of daily and Sunday press, local and national radio, as well as TV.
This of course matters to the reporters because it enables them to do a decent job. It ought to matter to the managers too, because there's little point in antagonising influential observers. They never know when they might need an ally. But when results went against Paul Ince and the confidence of players and fans evaporated, there were few members of the press campaigning for him to be given more time.

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