Pep Guardiola has called West Brom boss Sam Allardyce “a genius” for his ability to save clubs from relegation.
Allardyce is aiming to maintain his record of never being relegated as he attempts to save the second-from-bottom Baggies from the drop.
He has saved Sunderland and Blackburn from similar positions in the past.
Allardyce knows how to get results “when everyone believes it is over”, said Guardiola, whose side visit West Brom in the Premier League on Tuesday.
The Baggies have managed only one win in seven games since Allardyce took over from Slaven Bilic on 16 December, a day after the Croat oversaw a hard-earned draw away to Guardiola’s City, and are now five points from safety rather than two.
But although their sole victory against Wolves this month was followed by a defeat by West Ham, Guardiola says the Black Country derby triumph and holding champions Liverpool to a draw at Anfield in December show Allardyce’s good work at The Hawthorns.
“It is not easy to take over a team during the season, but against Wolves, Liverpool, other clubs he got good results,” the Spaniard said.
“Sam Allardyce is a genius.”
Allardyce has never taken over a club and failed to improve on their league position before leaving.
Twice previously has has taken a side from 19th in the Premier League to safety, first with Blackburn in the 2008-09 season and again with Sunderland in the 2015-16 season before then leaving to take the England job.
After just one game and an ill-fated 67-day stint as national team boss, he then returned to club management to guide Crystal Palace away from the relegation spots and up to 14th in the table in 2016-17.