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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers Banter » 'Top-drawer' - ex defender Nicky Hunt on playing under Sam Allardyce

'Top-drawer' - ex defender Nicky Hunt on playing under Sam Allardyce

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

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Former Wanderers defender Nicky Hunt says Sam Allardyce was the best manager he ever worked under.

Allardyce gave Hunt his Premier League debut for the Whites against Manchester United back in 2003.

The defender went on to make over 100 top-flight appearances for the club and also had spells with Bristol City, Preston, Notts County and Accrington Stanley among others.

Hunt, 38, recalled how Allardyce managed El Hadji Diouf following the Senegal international’s move from Liverpool to the UniBol.

“His man-management skills were top-drawer,” he said in an interview with Under the Cosh Podcast.

“He was tactically very good but I just thought he brought the best out of players – he knew how to get the best out of every single player he had.

“Diouf obviously didn’t have the best of times at Liverpool, but he just knew how to manage him.

“He knew that he would go out on a Wednesday or Thursday, even a Friday night before a game.

"But when he turned up on Saturday, he would either create two goals or score two goals.

“No other manager would ever do that - the player would just be gone. But Sam had a knack of bringing out the best of everybody.”

Hunt spent seven years in total at Wanderers before joining Bristol City on a free transfer in the summer of 2010.

The defender looks back at his time with the Whites fondly and says it was a great dressing room to be part of, particularly as a young player breaking into the side.

He added: “We had to clean the toilets, clean the showers, clean the boots. Balls, bibs and cones - that was one of the jobs.

“But to be fair, Deano (Holdsworth), Michael Ricketts, Gudni Bergsson, Per Frandsen, Simon Charlton – (they were) really good pros and guided you on.”

Hunt – who left non-league Darlington over the summer - also revealed that he is now coaching at Bolton School.

The 38-year-old still occasionally plays for Ashton United but insists his long-term goals are in coaching.

Hunt has already completed his UEFA A and B Licences and is hoping to study for his Pro Licence in the near future.

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