West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has hailed Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho ahead of the Hammers’ clash with the Blues on Boxing Day, Sky Sports reports.
Allardyce’s side are currently fourth on the Premier League table but face a tough task to maintain their five-game unbeaten run against the current league leaders.
However the Irons boss did mastermind a 0-0 draw with Chelsea last season, and plans to frustrate the Blues once again.
“This one is totally different,” he said. “We are fourth in the league this time we’ve got better players. We’ve got younger players and hopefully we will come and give a good account of ourselves and a good account of ourselves is a result not a good performance and a loss.”
The result made Mourinho vent his anger towards West Ham’s tactics, but Allardyce took the remarks as a compliment rather than an insult.
He said: “I think that it’s a compliment that a frustrated manager vents his frustration over the fact that he can’t break the team he’s playing against down and I think that frustration spilled over into his press conference.
“He felt he should have beaten us [in their last meeting] obviously because of the position we were in at the time and the position they were in.
“So it’s always a compliment for me when a manager has a little pop at you about the way you played or what tactics you might have used because it means tactically you have been very good.
“You’ve done your job well, made sure the opposition have found it very difficult to break you down and not beaten you when everyone expected us to lose and we didn’t it.”
“We have obviously improved tremendously from where we were,” he said. “But that doesn’t make it any easier for us playing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge because of the force that they are, and because of the manager that he is – he is probably the best working club manager in the world at the minute on his track record. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.”