Date: 31st March 2006 at 5:50pm
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Sam Allardyce says he is pleased the weekend’s derby is not a boxing match!

Although the Trotters have a good record at Old Trafford, they have not beaten United at home in a league game – either at the Reebok Stadium or Burnden Park – since 1978.

Allardyce: ‘In form terms, United’s players are not quite as good as they used to be – but they are better than ours.

‘Wayne Rooney’s wages and transfer fee would probably cover all 19 members of our squad. If it was a boxing match, it would be a mis-match.

‘We have a tendency to raise our game to its maximum in situations like these.

‘We will use our knowledge and data to try to negate the opposition’s huge strengths and then hope that we can exploit one or two of their weaker areas to try to get something out of the game.

‘Manchester United are in great form at the moment, so what we really need to try to do is score first because it would make a huge difference to our chances of getting something from the game.’