Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has told the Daily Mail that he was warned about the West Ham job by some of their former managers, including Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp.
Allardyce, 61, took charge of West Ham back in the summer of 2011 following West Ham's relegation from the Premier League, and immediately guided the club back to the top flight.
'Big Sam' then established West Ham as a solid Premier League club once again, and left the club in good shape before being replaced by Slaven Bilic last summer.
Now, after four years at Upton Park, Allardyce heads back to West Ham to take on his former club, having taken charge of Sunderland back in October.
His Black Cats side desperately need the points to stave off relegation, and as Allardyce seeks a victory on Saturday afternoon, many wonder what reception he will get upon his return to East London, given the divided opinion on him during his time at West Ham.
Some fans appreciated how Allardyce stabilised the Hammers, but others were simply bored of his brand of football by the end of his time at the club, and he received plenty of criticism at Upton Park.
Now, Allardyce has told the Daily Mail that he spoke to a host of form West Ham managers before taking the job in 2011, and the likes of Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp told him that he would receive criticism from sections of the Hammers support, just as they did.
"I was appreciated by the majority of fans," said Allardyce. "It was a small minority who made themselves very loud and very clear. That wasn’t just me, it was all the managers who have been at West Ham. You accept that’s the way it is at that club."
"No matter what you do, at some stage you’ll get criticised. I knew that before I went there because you ring up people who used to manage. I don’t suppose if you spoke to Harry Redknapp or Alan Pardew or Alan Curbishley they would admit that. They are West Ham boys, but I’m not and they’ve said it to me privately. They got the same amount of stick I did," he added.
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