West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce proved that the old football cliché that 'it is all about who you know' still rings true by allowing MK Dons to use the club's Chadwell Heath training ground.

With heavy snow leaving MK Dons' own training pitches unplayable, manager Karl Robinson called his old boss to ask to use the Hammers' facilities ahead of their FA Cup with Budweiser fourth-round tie at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Big Sam, who employed Robinson as his first-team coach at Blackburn Rovers, was only too happy to allow the npower League One promotion-chasers to train at Chadwell Heath - which has undersoil heating - on Thursday and Friday.

"We are very thankful to Sam and Neil McDonald for the opportunity," Robinson confirmed. "In Milton Keynes the snow has been horrendous and we've not go undersoil heating at our training ground, so this is the first time we have trained on grass for about 12 days - you could see how excited the boys are in their faces!

"It's nice when people in high places give you the opportunity to use their facilities and we're very thankful to West Ham, their manager and groundstaff for giving us that opportunity.

"I worked with Sam and Macca at Blackburn and I hold Sam in such high regard as a manager. I've worked with some good people and some good players and I am still very young myself and Sam definitely knows how to get results. He is someone I respect in the game immensely and I know a lot of other players and managers do as well."

Sam and Karl Robinson

Big Sam and Karl Robinson worked together at Blackburn Rovers

Robinson also attended last weekend's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with QPR at the Boleyn Ground as part of his scouting of Harry Redknapp's team.

"I came to West Ham's game on Saturday and I thought you were magnificent. Sam was there with his stats afterwards - 40-odd crosses and shots and everything else - and what you learn is that if you get the little things right, then nine times out of ten the result takes care of itself.

"It doesn't always happen but it was nice to come and see him and chat after the game. As always, he was very respectful and helpful to a young manager like myself and football clubs below the Premier League.

"He has been there and knows how hard it is to scrimp and save and try to grab a few inches. If I could emulate what he's done I'd be very proud of what I had achieved, but I'm still relatively young.

"Sam is always someone I can come to for advice. He is always on the end of the phone and I know he is a true football man and very kind and considerate."

Robinson himself is forging a reputation as one of the game's brightest young managers, having guided MK Dons to fifth in League One in each of the previous two seasons.

"We're starting something at Milton Keynes. For the level of football that we play, we are not inventing the wheel, but we have a certain way that we play, we retain the ball very well and we're a very entertaining team to watch.

"We don't always win, but we're also not one of the biggest spenders in our division. People see our stadium and think we're spending millions but we're probably not even in the top ten. For what we pay and how far we have come this year, the boys deserve tremendous credit."

MK Dons

MK Dons enjoy a training session at Chadwell Heath

MK Dons will certainly gain even more credit should they win at Loftus Road on Saturday. However, Robinson is realistic to know that it will not be easy, despite the Hoops' struggles in the Barclays Premier League.

"I've heard someone say we could win, but we're a League One team going to a Barclays Premier League team with hope and optimism.

"One thing I can promise is that we won't leave anything in the tank. The players have got no excuses because they will have been prepared right and have trained on the grass, thanks to West Ham, so it'll be down to them."