Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Sam Allardyce ahead of Manchester United's clash with West Ham on Wednesday night, claiming the Hammers boss is "underrated" within football.
Allardyce has worked wonders since taking over at Upton Park in the summer of 2011, immediately winning promotion to the Barclays Premier League before making an assured start to life in the top flight this season, earning 19 points from 13 matches before Wednesday night's fixture at Old Trafford.
The Hammers' start has made a mockery of those who doubted whether the former Bolton Wanderers manager could succeed at West Ham, following two unsuccessful spells in charge of Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers. Though as Sir Alex explained, his great friend and ally should never have been doubted.
“Big Sam went to Upton Park a year and a bit ago and the cynics said he’s not a West Ham manager as he doesn’t play football,” the boss said. “What was his mandate? To get them up into the Premier League as quickly as possible and he got them up within a year. Tell me someone else who could’ve done that?
“He’s also had to rebuild the team and get two or three players out because of their salaries. He’s very underrated, it’s as simple as that. There’s a sort of impression about him being a certain type of manager. It’s not really fair and I’m pleased he’s back in the Premier League.
“The Blackburn situation was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen but I think Sam was more disappointed with what happened at Newcastle. He was unlucky that a new owner came in and wanted a certain type of manager. He didn’t get a chance in his first really big job with the expectation and fan base up there - he didn’t get a chance to do the job right.”