Last Updated: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:14
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has hailed Tony Pulis' managerial career ahead of the Potters trip to Upton Park this Monday.
Pulis has been criticised by some football purists in the past for adopting a seemingly direct style of play at the Britannia Stadium.
However, Allardyce - himself an advocate of getting results ahead of earning plaudits for style - says the Stoke boss deserves more credit than he gets.
'Big Sam' believes Pulis has got it right when making City hard to beat first and foremost and he says having a solid defence is key to eventually moving forward.
"Tony has suffered his fair share of criticism down the years for the way his teams play - but not from me," the Hammers boss said in the London Evening Standard.
"I believe the art of good defending is the catalyst to your team's success - or otherwise. Tony, like all managers, is governed by his club's resources. Within those limits he has to try and maximise achievement - and consistently."
Pulis remains one of the longest-serving managers in the Premier League after being in charge of the club, for a second spell, since June 2006 and Allardyce has paid tribute to the man he will meet in the opposing dugout on Monday.
"The acid test for managers is longevity. I've managed for 20 years, Tony about the same and that in an industry where, if you're sacked from your first job, statistics tell you that you have only a 47 per cent chance of finding another," he added.
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