BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill is relishing the chance to test himself against a manager he regards as one of the best in the business.
Bolton-born Hill goes head-to-head with his friend and former Bolton Wanderers boss Sam Allardyce on Saturday as the Reds look to spring an upset at promotion chasing West Ham at Upton Park.
The pair have known each other for a number of years and Hill is a big admirer of Allardyce and what he has achieved in the game.
“I know him very well, he’s a great bloke and a great manager,” Hill told The Star.
“I’ve known him since I was a player and I’ve always had a keen interest in the way he manages.
“I’d definitely call him a friend, although we’ve not chatted for a while. Flicker [Barnsley assistant boss David Flitcroft] speaks to him on a regular basis.
“Sam’s got a record of getting teams promoted and keep teams in the division, mainly the Premier League.”
Hill admits his team face a “massive” test this weekend as they look to upset the club second in the Championship table just three points off leaders Southampton but who have lost their last two league games, 3-0 at Reading and 2-1 at home to Burnley.
“West Ham are a Premier League club and Sam’s been given the resources to try and get them promoted again,” said Hill.
The Reds themselves are looking to bounce back from a defeat having been beaten 5-3 at home to Ipswich Town.