Cheltenham Town video: Mark Yates ready for Big Sam showdown
MARK Yates has hailed Sam Allardyce's managerial style and success as he prepares to go head-to-head with the esteemed West Ham boss at Upton Park tonight (7.45pm).
Cheltenham Town will make their first visit to the Premier League club in Capital One Cup second round, a reward for the 4-3 extra-time victory over League One Crawley Town.
Yates has taken on Harry Redknapp and David Moyes in the past two seasons, with FA Cup third round ties against Tottenham Hotspur and Everton respectively.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
He now has the opportunity to lock horns with Allardyce, who made his name at unfashionable Bolton Wanderers before spells with Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers.
He took over at West Ham in the summer of 2011, guiding them back to the Premier League after one season in the Championship and they finished in a comfortable mid-table position last term.
Yates clearly looks up to Allardyce, who started out in the lower divisions with Blackpool and Notts County before climbing right to the top and developing a reputation for new standards in sports science and analysis.
"I have met Sam a few times and he's been at the top of the game for a long time now," Yates said.
"He builds effective sides and gets players wanting to do well for him, which is so important.
"He did a talk that I attended for the League Managers' Association a while ago, speaking about how he assembles his backroom staff, with specialist people in every position.
"He has based it on the way clubs operate in America and it's worked so well for him, having so many experts in different fields."
Yates will relish a post-match debrief with Allardyce, who took Bolton into the UEFA Cup with a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League in 2005.
He refuted claims that Allardyce's success hinges on direct, long-ball tactics, saying that the 58-year-old deserves more credit for his impressive record.
"They have players like Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis, Mark Noble and Joe Cole, so they are certainly not that direct," Yates said.
"Sam's teams are often labelled as long-ball specialists, but they mix it up, probably better than any other team around.
"They have dangerous wingers and the threat of whoever plays up front so there will be times when they are turning our defence, but they are far more than a long-ball team and they have a midfielder (Kevin Nolan) who scores about 15 goals a season."
West Ham are expected to field a mixture of first team and Under-21 development players against their League Two opponents.
Cheltenham will be backed by around 1,500 fans at the Boleyn Ground and they will wear a new white third kit, with blue trim and black shorts and socks.
They are using it tonight and against Scunthorpe United to avoid colour clashes with both their ruby and white home strip and their sky blue change kit.
Tonight will be a special occasion for Robins chairman Paul Baker, who is a lifelong Hammers fan.