Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren has labelled Sam Allardyce one of the best in the business and predicts Sunderland will achieve success under his tenure, The Sun report.
The North East duo will face each other in the first derby clash of the 2015/16 campaign this Sunday, and there seems to be an added importance regarding this fixture due to their current positions in the table.
Sunderland are bottom with just three points in nine matches, whereas Newcastle are three points better off having undergone their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
The Black Cats’ woeful start to the campaign has already prompted a managerial change, with former boss Dick Advocaat stepping down and Sam Allardyce taking his place.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the derby clash, Newcastle boss McClaren had kind words for his counterpart and predicted Sunderland to achieve success under Allardyce’s stewardship.
"Whatever manager it is, it’s the Premier League, it’s the biggest league in the world. You are pitting yourself against some of the biggest managers in the world and in Europe — and Sam is one of them,” McClaren said.
“He’s had an excellent career. He has great experience in the Premier League and every club he goes to, he does a very good job. He will do that at Sunderland.”
Many have already speculated that the Sunderland job is Allardyce’s biggest challenge of his career, and it’s easy to come to such a conclusion considering their current position.
The Black Cats have an unbalanced squad, a genuine lack of real attacking quality and a defence which had posted the most goals conceded prior to the former Bolton Wanderers boss’s arrival.
It will take a masterclass in tactical and motivational management to see Sunderland turn it around, and what better match to potentially initiate such a feat than a home encounter with the Magpies.