Sam Allardyce for England: Boss wishes him every ‘success’

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce on the phone during the pre-season friendly match at Victoria Park

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce on the phone during the pre-season friendly match at Victoria Park

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Craig Hignett hopes Sam Allardyce “goes on to be a success” as England manager.

The Hartlepool United boss watched in awe as Allardyce’s Sunderland played some breathtaking stuff in a 3-0 win at Victoria Park.

If that is the case and it looks like it is [that he’s taking the England job] then brilliant, I’m really delighted for him

CRAIG HIGNETT

Hignett never got the chance to shake the 61-year-old’s hand at full-time as Big Sam left early to avoid the media circus which had taken over at the Vic.

But the Pools manger revealed he spoke to the Black Cats chief before the game when speculation was rife that he was a shoo-in to succeed Roy Hodgson as national coach.

“I spoke to Big Sam before and I wished him all the best ... whatever happens,” said Hignett.

“I’ve known Sam for a while, he’s is a really nice fella.

“If that is the case and it looks like it is [that he’s taking the England job] then brilliant, I’m really delighted for him.

“I hope he goes on to be a success because he’s a top man.”

If you were a betting man, you would imagine Jermain Defoe would be following Allardyce into Three Lions territory.

The striker was the inspiration for the Black Cats, scoring the first and third goals against the League Two side and having a hand in the second for Wahbi Khazri for good measure.

“Jermain’s second goal was something else, that’s a difficult skill when the ball’s coming across you,” said Hignett, a former Premier League forward himself. “To hit that with the inside of your foot and to bend it in like was special.

“But so was his first one.

“He had plenty of time to think about it and he had Toto [Nsiala] chasing after him, but the finish was different class, a little dink over Trev [Carson].

“But, from our perspective, you don’t come up against players like Defoe every day.”