TP and Big Sam are out of the same mould
WHEN it comes to thick skins, there are no bigger rhinos than Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce.
Probably because the two bosses, who line up against one another on Monday, have had more practice than most down the years.
Long ball, over-physical, ugly... both managers have heard it all before.
No surprise there is a certain kinship between the pair therefore.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I don't think Sam will give a damn what people say or don't say," said Pulis, repeating one of his very own mantras.
"Sam is a results man who doesn't bother about what people think and I've always found him a decent fella.
"You'd have to ask Sam about the criticism he gets, but the one thing I know is that he gets results. The fella knows what he's doing.
"The important thing as a football manager is to play to your strengths.
"We have evolved as we've gone along and it's taken time because we have come from nowhere to get promoted."
Big Sam proved season-in, season-out that he could keep unfashionable clubs like Bolton and Blackburn in the top flight.
At West Ham, however, he impressed Pulis with how he won instant promotion working for a more fancied club.
"Sam is one of those who does the job," Pulis continued. "He's been a very successful manager and maybe at times doesn't get the praise he deserves.
"He's gone to West Ham (in 2011), under pressure to get them promoted, and that's not easy because every team who played West Ham it was like a cup final for them.
"He's got them promoted and now they have had a fantastic start to their season.
"They must be doing absolute somersaults at West Ham at the moment and he deserves a lot of credit."
Pulis also admires the way Allardyce has, a bit like himself, got his hands dirty in the lower leagues before tasting the riches now on offer in the Premier League.
"Similar to myself, he's worked his way through the ladder and I've always got tremendous respect for people who have done that.
"There's a lot of managers who, because of their playing background, they haven't even entertained going to watch lower-league clubs, never mind manage them."
And dealing with Allardyce sounds a breeze too, after the loan of Danny Collins to West Ham last season.
"We did the deal last year," Pulis recalled, "and it took about 30 seconds because Sam is very straightforward."