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Stoke boss pays tribute to Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce's West Ham United side are up against it with the fixtures in front of them this month. Pic:Rob Newell/TGS Photo Sam Allardyce's West Ham United side are up against it with the fixtures in front of them this month. Pic:Rob Newell/TGS Photo

Monday, November 19, 2012
8:35 AM

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has paid tribute to his West Ham counterpart Sam Allardyce’s ability to “get the job done”.

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The Potters are in London tomorrow to take on a Hammers side who have accrued an impressive total of 18 points from their 11 Barclays Premier League matches so far this season following their promotion via the npower Championship play-offs last term.

It has been a considerable turnaround for West Ham since their relegation from the top flight in 2010-11 and quite the success story for Allardyce, whose appointment as boss at Upton Park in the summer of 2011 was not universally popular among the club’s fans.

The 58-year-old has frequently been criticised during his managerial career for employing what are perceived to be unattractive, long-ball tactics despite his record indicating that the football his teams play is effective, and Pulis feels Allardyce deserves more credit.

Asked about Allardyce’s critics, Pulis - who has faced accusations himself of using a negative playing style to get results - said: “Each to their own.

“I don’t think he pays too much attention to what people do or do not think.

“He gets the job done and he has done a wonderful job at West Ham.

“It was very difficult for him. They played in the Championship, were the top team in the Championship and everyone would have wanted to knock them off their pedestal.

“It is difficult when it is like that, but he got them promoted in one season and they have had a great start this year.”

Allardyce also got Bolton promoted from the second tier in 2001 and he subsequently guided the Trotters to consistent top-10 top-flight finishes, a League Cup final and into Europe, before departing in 2007.

After a brief spell with Newcastle, he then took charge at Blackburn, who he steered away from the relegation zone in his first season and then up to 10th in his second before being controversially sacked by Rovers owners Venky’s.

“He has been a very successful manager and maybe at times he doesn’t get the praise he deserves,” Pulis said.

“They must be absolutely doing somersaults at West Ham at the moment, and he deserves a hell of a lot of credit for that.

“I think the important thing as a football manager is that you play to your strengths and according to what you have got.

“You would have to ask Sam what he thinks of the criticism he gets, but the one thing I do know is that he gets results.

“Look at when he was at Bolton and look at Bolton now (they were relegated to the Championship last season).

“They were finishing in the top 10 in the Premier League year after year. The fella knows what he is doing.”

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