Sam Allardyce revealed that his dismissal by Newcastle United was "the hardest one to take" of his managerial career. The West Ham manager's wife tried to convince him to retire from football in 2008 after he was sacked by the club where he takes his side tomorrow.
Soon after Mike Ashley bought Newcastle, Allardyce was dismissed and replaced by Kevin Keegan. Since then Allardyce has managed Blackburn Rovers and West Ham but he admitted that he was disappointed to leave a club of Newcastle's stature after just eight months.
"It was the hardest one to take because I thought it was the right one," he said. "I thought it was the next step, a big club, big fanbase, big budgets. And unfortunately I never saw any of that. I left and I moved on."
He was so upset that his wife advised him to retire. "My wife said I should," he revealed. "She said: 'For God's sake, you're better off out of it, is it worth it?' The thing is, they [managers' wives] go through more stress and pressure than you because they watch you go through it. They are your support system, that is why she said what she did, they see what no one else sees. But she understands what I am, a football man, and even in the tough times I need to do this job, it's a drug."
Allardyce said how disappointed he was to lose a job simply because there had been a change of ownership. "Your professionalism has been questioned, your ability to do this particular job has been questioned," he said. "It's the damage to your career you've spent years and years putting together and accumulating and proving that you are a quality manager.
"The only reason cited to me was they wanted to move in their own direction because I wasn't the man selected by them. You are always upset when you lose your job – it is a very distressing time for you and your family. People say, 'He'll be all right, he's got that much money'. I don't manage for money, I manage for glory."
Allardyce is not the only one returning to Newcastle tomorrow: "It is more important for Kevin [Nolan] and Andy [Carroll] to go and give a good performance. Those two players served Newcastle brilliantly before they left. And they will obviously want to do very, very well."