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Allardyce slams Watford mascot Harry the Hornet for mock dive

Harry the Hornet, Watford's club mascot. Credit: PA

Sam Allardyce says Watford's club mascot was "out of order" for appearing to mock Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha went down inside the area in the 87th minute of Palace's 1-1 draw at Watford on Boxing Day, but despite contact he was booked for diving by referee Mark Clattenburg.

That denied Palace of a second penalty in the match as former England manager Allardyce had to settle for a point from his first game in charge.

Mascot Harry the Hornet got involved after the final whistle, diving at Zaha's feet when the player went to applaud the Palace fans.

"The mascot is out of order, isn't he? If someone is diving, they don't get that angry," Allardyce said.

According to reports, the new Palace boss also suggested there might even be consequences for the mascot.

"That's up to Watford to sort that out, really," he said. "The Premier League and FA can look at that and do what they want to do."

Zaha later used his Twitter account to joke with the mascot, however:

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Bevan backs Allardyce to return to management soon

Allardyce lasted just 67 days as England manager. Credit: Reuters

Managers' chief Richard Bevan expects axed England boss Sam Allardyce to return to the game and join the one thousand club.

Allardyce is around 40 games short of reaching the four-figure mark as a manager after his England reign ended after just 67 days last month, following comments made to undercover newspaper reporters.

The 62-year-old has already been linked with his former club Sunderland, who are without a Premier League win this season and bottom of the table under Allardyce's successor David Moyes.

"The FA are looking at their next manager and Sam needs to look at building the next part of his career," League Managers Association chief executive Bevan told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme.

"He has shown in 25 years in management he has the ability to come back from setbacks and he'll need to show the same resilience going forward.

"I will be very surprised if he doesn't come back.

"He has had 957 matches as a manager - only a few games away from a thousand - and there are only 25 managers in the history of football management who have reached that.

"Personally, I very much hope he reaches the one thousand club."

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Allardyce's financial adviser refuses to comment on scandal

Sam Allardyce's financial adviser refused to comment on the scandal that caused the former England manager's sacking today when confronted by ITV News.

Shane Maloney was with Big Sam and the manager's agent at two controversial meetings where Allardyce agreed to strike a £400,000 deal with undercover newspaper reporters posing as businessmen from the Far East.

Maloney - who is fellow director of a string of businesses linked to Allardyce - has not been seen since the scandal was broken on Monday by the Daily Telegraph.

But today Maloney refused to answer questions about the affair after being confronted by ITV News during a chance encounter on the Tube.

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