Former Hammers back Big Sam

They might not have played under Sam Allardyce, but former West Ham United favourites Teddy Sheringham and Kenny Brown know a good manager when they see one.

Sheringham played under arguably the greatest manager in history, Sir Alex Ferguson, at Manchester United, while Brown learnt much while under the guidance of father Ken at Norwich City and Plymouth Argyle.

Both men believe Big Sam's managerial ability, vast experience and ability to get the best out of his players under the most severe pressure mean he is the right man to take West Ham forward.

"It was a bit hard going at times and they had injury problems as well, so it's nice to come through and be performing in the Premier League again next year," said Sheringham, who played against Big Sam's Bolton Wanderers for both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur and later won promotion to the Premier League with the Hammers in 2005.

"From where they were at Christmas time, it was an achievement to finish relatively comfortably. At the start of the season they'd have expected to go better than that, but when you struggle at times it's nice to come through."

West Ham started 2014 19th in the table, but a tally of 25 points from their closing 18 matches saw Big Sam guide the Hammers to a finishing position of 13th, a comfortable seven points above the bottom three.

Sheringham remains in close contact with many of the West Ham squad - including former team-mate Mark Noble - and he was not surprised to see his old club rise to the challenge under Big Sam's leadership.

"I've spoken to a lot of the players at West Ham and they love Sam. That's the main thing - that the players are responding to the manager.

"A lot of times when you're struggling down the bottom, the players say things like 'I'm not having the manager' and all that.

"When the players openly say he's good to play for and he looks after you, that's half the battle."

Brown, who enjoyed five years as a West Ham player between 1991 and 1996, agreed with Sheringham.

The Barking-born defender said his old Club should not downplay the significance of staying in the Barclays Premier League at the end of a season which saw established top-flight clubs like Fulham and Norwich City relegated to the Championship.

With the move to the 54,000-seater Olympic Stadium due in summer 2016, the 46-year-old is also convinced that Big Sam remains the right man for the job.

"At the end of it, when Sam came in, the criteria was to get us up," said Brown."Then it was to keep us up and we've done it again, finishing comfortably in 13th.

"What's really important is that we're in the Premier League when we move to the Olympic Stadium, and for that, who would you want in charge?

"Not just that, you have to take your hat off to him because you can't go against the results and he's obviously producing them."