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By ESPN Staff

Allardyce places Blackburn success ahead of Bolton

Sam Allardyce admits he will get more satisfaction steering Blackburn to a cup final than he did with Bolton.

The Rovers boss hopes to take another step towards the national stadium on Tuesday night when his side face Aston Villa in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at Ewood Park. Six years ago Allardyce suffered the disappointment of seeing Bolton lose to Middlesbrough in the final at the Millennium Stadium.

They secured their place in Cardiff after beating Villa in the last four, thanks to a thumping 5-2 victory in the first leg. It all ended in tears, however, and Allardyce is eager to enjoy that winning feeling.

He said: "It would be an even greater achievement getting Blackburn to Wembley, compared to Bolton. I have only been here for a year and we are on the verge of going to one of the major finals.

"When Bolton got to the final I had been there for a few years. The side was established and playing very well. I would love to go to Wembley and walk my team out. It would be a terrific experience for everyone and one to remember for the rest of our lives.''

Allardyce hopes his team perform like they did early in the season when they defeated Villa at home, rather than at the weekend when they lost to Martin O'Neill's side in the FA Cup. He also wants them to replicate their display in the quarter-finals when Chelsea were banished from the competition.

Allardyce was banned from watching that game after a minor heart operation and had to settle for highlights on a DVD. He said: "We must not waste beating Chelsea. What a magnificent night that must have been.

"I know the lads still have that feeling inside of them. That feeling will be even greater if we can get through against Villa. After we beat them they have gone from strength to strength and are a massive hurdle to my side.

"We have to try and get an advantage from the first leg. However I somehow cannot see us winning 5-2 like Bolton did.''

Midfielder Brett Emerton returns to the squad after recovering from a groin injury. However El-Hadji Diouf is sidelined through suspension after being sent off at the weekend while Vince Grella is absent with a thigh problem.


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