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Young midfielder has to work harder, reckons manager...

Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce has called on Steven N'Zonzi to buckle down and prove his mettle if he is to make regular appearances for the club.

The 21-year-old midfielder put in strong performances last season, but has failed to recreate a similar kind of form this term, as he has swiftly slipped down the pecking order.

With Vince Grella and Phil Jones ahead of him in the order of preference, the former Newcastle United boss is hoping that the player works hard to regain his place.

"Steven N'Zonzi? I don't think he has been unlucky, I just don't think he has played to the level he played last year," Allardyce told reporters.

"That is the reason he hasn't been in the side.

"'Vinny' [Grella], who struggled last year because of injuries, has kept himself a bit fitter and is getting in the frame a little bit more.

"That puts pressure on Steven. He has got a kick up the backside."

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