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‘I like disagreements’ – Sam Allardyce impressed by passionate rows at Newcastle

West Bromwich Albion v Fulham – Premier League – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Jason Cairnduff)

West Brom boss Sam Allardyce believes the rows at crisis-hit Newcastle show they have the fight for a survival battle.

The Magpies head to the Hawthorns on Sunday after another flashpoint in a turbulent season.

Matt Ritchie and boss Steve Bruce clashed this week after the manager blamed the winger for failing to pass on instructions which led to Wolves’ leveller in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

The pair were involved in an angry exchange at the training ground this week, with Ritchie eventually apologising.

Newcastle are nine points ahead of second-bottom Albion and Allardyce, who managed at St James’ Park between 2007 and 2008, has no issue with any arguments.

He said: “It’s a disagreement, what’s wrong with it? I like disagreements. I like people to air their views. It means they care.

“We shouldn’t be subservient and not speak up for ourselves if we feel like we’ve been wronged.

“Whether a player says it to you as a manager if he thinks you’re wrong – why not speak up, why not say, ‘what are you talking about?’ There’s nothing wrong with it.

“Then just sort it out, get on with it, it’s forgotten the next day – or should be. It’s a good thing having disagreements. It’s a good thing digging each other out.

“You know, this world is getting, unfortunately, far too pathetic as far as I’m concerned. In terms of criticism – or telling people that they’re not giving the right attitude.

“Or people standing up for themselves and saying to a coach or a manager, ‘Well I think you’re wrong.’

“What’s wrong with it?”

Allardyce has targeted a win against Newcastle after the Baggies slipped to a battling 1-0 defeat to Everton on Thursday.

It ended a three-game unbeaten run, their best of the season, and Allardyce knows victory is vital if Albion are to beat the drop.

“Yes, because if we beat Newcastle then we are only six points away from them. If we lose we’re 12 points away,” he said, with the boss expected to be without Grady Diangana after illness.

“Which makes that as big a task as anybody’s achieved to try and stay in the Premier League with the amount of games left.

“It can still be done mathematically but it would make life extremely difficult. That’s how big this one is.”