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Blackburn Rovers boss Allardyce praises Sydney FC performances

Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce has praised the performances of host club Sydney FC in last week's Festival of Football.

The reigning A-League champions pitted themselves against three strong European outfits - Blackburn Rovers, Rangers and AEK Athens - to come out with a draw and two losses but it was the way they went about it which impressed Allardyce.

''The first half we were in control but we would have expected to do that with the side we put out,'' he said of Saturday's final match against Sydney. ''But as the game wore on they came through a little stronger. It was a spirited performance from Sydney.

"They've stood up well to the teams who have come from far and wide, some of them big teams from their own countries.''

Australian internastional Brett Emerton, a Rovers midfielder, was also complimentary of Sydney but admitted that the overall standard of football in his homeland had to get better.

''They [Sydney FC] were fairly organised, but playing against teams like ourselves is a big step up for them,'' said Emerton. ''They were decent, but the standard of the Australian league still has some way to go.''

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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