Big Sam backs Bucs

Sam Allardyce will miss out on watching his favourite Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday but will hope they triumph when Wembley welcomes American football.

The NFL side are taking on the Chicago Bears in the International Series at Wembley, and Big Sam is hoping the team from Florida come out on top. The manager spent 1983 playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the now defunct NASL and has never forgotten the experience.

"I had one of the best times of my life," he said. "That was the start of my management philosophy of using technology and backroom staff to create the right service for players to deliver their best. I had a fantastic time in Tampa and I wish them all the best on Sunday."

Big Sam admitted the Rowdies' facilities were not comparable with the Buccaneers when he was there but still relished every minute of living in the Sunshine State. He has spoken recently of his hope of one day taking the Hammers there for a training camp.

"We rented the bottom end of their training ground at that time. They had about eight or nine pitches and we had two in the bottom corner. I used to go and watch their pre-season games while were in our season and we got friendly with their players.

"I got to know the rules. That was the most important thing because there is not a lot of entertainment if you don't know the rules. My wife didn't but she liked the atmosphere, the popcorn and the pretzels so that wasn't too bad. It was warm and sunny and I enjoyed the games.

"I still enjoy watching the tactical side of the game and the detail they put in to try and win."