"You're working with someone who has total faith in you" - Kevin Kilbane gives his thoughts on Sam Allardyce

Allardyce is expected to take over as England manager this week

Sam Allardyce is widely expected to succeed Roy Hodgson as England manager this week, with reports today indicating he may be unveiled as early as tomorrow.

Speaking on tonight's Off The Ball, Kevin Kilbane spoke about his time under Allardyce and gave an indication to the charachter of the manager. 

"Sam signed me from school and obviously I've a lot of respect for the role he played in the early stages of my career," said Kevin Kilbane, who played under him at youth level with Preston.

"I've been listening to Kevin Nolan over the last few nights and he's worked beside him and worked under him. It's what you see is what you get. He's had a great relationship with a lot of the players he has ever worked with. You know exactly what you're doing and what he wants from you... You're working with someone who has total faith in you."

Kilbane recalled a time when he was instructed to play expansive, attacking football by Allardyce which, he says, is at odds with the rudimentary style he is associated with.

"When he was at Preston and he was our youth team coach, we had John Beck as the manager. What we had under John Beck wasn't great but Beck was beginning to delve into sport science at the time and started to use guys off the pitch regarding tactics.

"This was the start of Sam Allardyce going about things in the early days. I remember Beck had us tying to play a certain way at youth team level and Sam used to pull us to one side. Maybe he saw ability in one or two players, myself included I suppose.

"You won't progress to a different level unless you play a different style of football than the manager is giving you. Allardyce didn't say that behind the managers back, but he saw the bigger picture. 

"He gave us the belief to go out and play with a bit more freedom, when we were under pressure to play a certain way. I think that's where I began to develop."