'Scrooge' Sam blasts back over revolt claim

December 4, 2007

Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce insists the strength of his relationship with club owner Mike Ashley leaves him confident of riding out recent poor results and player unrest.

Allardyce was forced to defend himself after reports of senior players dissenting over tactics, training and plans to stay away from the north-east over Christmas.

The former Bolton boss admits he is 'under the cosh' after watching his struggling team claim just a single point from their last five Barclays Premier League games.

But he scoffed at any suggestion of his having lost control of the dressing room, insisting confrontation is a fact of life for a football manager.

'Players are not happy about a lot of the stuff I do because they're players and I'm the manager,' he said.

'I'm the man who knows what's right for them and I know it more than they do. That's why I sit in this chair. It's immaterial.

'When you're having a bad time there are always elements and factors trying to make a big deal of things.

'Today's politically correct society believes that that's a disruption, but that's an everyday occurrence as a manager.

'Somebody will have a problem with something or other, whether it's how you go about the week, wanting to play, off the field. There's always something a player doesn't like. Some of it sneaks into the papers.

'Whoever did it might think it's making a point, but it will only make me more resilient and stronger. I just find it disappointing it ends up in the paper, but that's life.'

With Newcastle legend Alan Shearer recently suggesting he might be ready for a first taste of management, Allardyce knows that a potential replacement with overwhelming public support is ready and waiting.

But he insists club owner Ashley still retains faith in his abilities.

'I saw Mike Ashley after the game on Saturday, shook hands and had a good chat with him,' Allardyce said.

'I hope that shows the strength of the relationship we have but there's no point beating about the bush.

'Yes, I'm under the cosh and yes I've got to get results sooner rather than later and yes we're having a bad time in terms of results - but it can be turned around as quick as it's gone bad.

'If Alan decides to take my job, I hope it'll be when I've decided to leave because I've made the club successful and he'll be taking over a club that I've improved significantly, like what happened with Sammy Lee and Bolton, but if it's the other way then you have to live with it.'