(Reuters) - Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has described his West Bromwich Albion counterpart Sam Allardyce as a "genius" for his ability to guide struggling Premier League clubs away from relegation danger.
West Brom appointed Allardyce following the sacking of Slaven Bilic in December and the former England boss was given the target to retain the club's top-flight status having recorded just one win in their opening 13 league games.
The Baggies have since held defending champions Liverpool to a 1-1 draw on Dec. 27 and defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 earlier this month for their first win under Allardyce, but are still six points from safety zone.
"It is not easy to take over a team during the season, but against Wolves, Liverpool, other clubs he got good results," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's trip to West Brom on Tuesday.
"Sam Allardyce is a genius to take these teams when everyone believes it is over and get results.
"It happens once, twice, three times you can't say it is lucky because he has done it so many times."
City have won 10 consecutive games in all competitions since being held to a 1-1 draw by West Brom last month.
Guardiola's side responded to that frustrating stalemate with hard-fought 1-0 win at Southampton, which the Spaniard claims was a turning point for City this season.
"It was difficult and at that moment Southampton were in top form. We were able to beat them and then we started the process of playing better," Guardiola said.
"We were far away from the top of the league, but then we started getting closer, training better, sleeping better."
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)