Sam Allardyce praises Rafa Benitez ahead of Newcastle trip to Everton
Last Updated: 22/04/18 12:22pm
Everton boss Sam Allardyce has praised Rafa Benitez for his "excellent" work at Newcastle as he prepares to take on a man he once famously fell out with.
Benitez has helped guide Newcastle into 10th in the Premier League, and a win at Goodison Park on Monday Night Football would see them climb above Everton into ninth.
It also marks another chance for Allardyce to beat a club that he managed for only eight months before being removed in what he termed a "hurtful" way more than a decade ago.
"From a difficult period they have managed to recover and get in the Premier League and they have turned it around." Allardyce said.
"They have put together a run of games and we'll see a better Newcastle than we saw up there [when Everton won 1-0 in December].
"Rafa has progressed very well. He has always expressed his disappointment with not enough funds - we can all say we don't have enough funds.
"What he has managed with the funds he has, particularly in the January months, has been excellent."
Allardyce says his issues with Benitez, as well as Newcastle, are now in his distant memory.
He accused Benitez, then manager of Liverpool, of lacking respect towards him and Bolton, but asked about that, Allardyce said: "That's water under the bridge and 15 years ago, when he just got here.
"I was winding up anyone I could and it worked well at times. That doesn't happen now. I wouldn't go back to that. I'm too long in the tooth and mature for it."
And on Newcastle, he added: "It's been that long I have nothing but respect for the football club. It felt unjust but I have moved on."
Play Super 6 for £250k
Could you be the next Super 6 jackpot winner? Enter your predictions for free here.