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Published: 15:17 | 25/2/16

Bilic wants warm welcome for Allardyce

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has called on supporters to give Sam Allardyce a warm welcome when he returns to Upton Park on Saturday.

Allardyce spent four years at Wes Ham, guiding them from the Championship in his first season in charge and re-establishing the club as Premier League outfit, but some fans were unhappy with his style of play.

He will return for the first time since leaving in the summer when he takes his Sunderland side to Upton Park and there are fears he might receive a negative reception.

Bilic, however, believes he deserves credit for what he achieved during his time at the club and hopes the negativity is kept to a minimum.

"They should appreciate that he did great for West Ham, first and foremost," said Bilic.

"He took over West Ham in a moment when they were in the Championship and got them back straight away. He stabilised them in the Premier League and did an amazing job.

"The fans, and everyone connected with the club, should appreciate him.

"I don't know what the fans think of him, but you can't change the facts and the facts are in his favour, big time!

"Whoever says differently, then it's not business, it's personal. Sam did a great job here. He left me an organised training ground, some key players, he made my job a bit easier - and I appreciate it.

"Do I think he will get a warm reception? I think so, and I hope so."

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