Pep Guardiola has described Sam Allardyce as a "genius" as he prepares to take his Manchester City side to West Brom on Tuesday.
The Baggies brought in Allardyce following the sacking of Slaven Bilic in December and he was given the target of moving the club away from relegation danger.
West Brom drew with Liverpool on December 27 and beat Wolves 3-2 earlier this month for their first win under Allardyce but are still six points from safety.
City are in a strong run of form having won their last six Premier League matches since a draw with West Brom in December, but Guardiola accepts his players will face a stern challenge against a team led by a man of which he is a great admirer.
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Guardiola said: "It is not easy to take over a team during the season, but against Wolves, Liverpool, other clubs he got good results.
"Sam Allardyce is a genius to take these teams when everyone believes it is over and get results.
"The results give you an incredible boost, an incredible confidence. What is first - do results make you play good, or do you play good if you get results?
"I think both are connected but we are just at the end of January, so it is just West Brom, trying to analyse them and make a good game to get another victory."
Victory over West Brom would take City back above Manchester United to the top of the Premier League table, for a day at least.
Guardiola said: "The leader is United. They are top of the league. The moment we have all games together we will see.
"Now we are not top of the league and the difference (to) third, fourth, fifth and sixth is so close, so narrow. But I didn't look at the table much when we were 12th and eight or nine points behind the leaders, and now is the same."