Wed, Dec 13, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Sacked Pardew stands by record

MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE Despite leading West Ham to five defeats in their last six Premiership games, former manager Alan Pardew said he had a lot to be proud of

AFP , LONDON

Alan Pardew insisted on Monday he was proud of his achievements with West Ham after being sacked as manager of the struggling English Premiership side.

The club have lost five of their last six Premiership games including both matches since Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson became chairman a week ago.

And Saturday's 4-0 thrashing at Bolton leaves the club 18th in the Premiership with only three points separating them from bottom club Watford.

"When I took the helm they were in the Championship and struggling to find direction," 45-year-old Pardew told the club's Web site.

"In two consecutive seasons we qualified for the play-offs, ultimately achieving the Premiership status the club so richly deserve. I am also proud of our first season back in the top flight in which we finished ninth and came so close to winning the FA Cup," he said.

"The supporters have stood by me and I will always cherish memories of their support and loyalty during the difficulties of this season," Pardew said.

"I am proud most of all of the players, many of whom have developed into top Premiership performers under the tutelage of myself and my backroom staff," he said.

"The coaching and medical staff at Upton Park are second to none and I want to wish the new chairman Eggert Magnusson and the club every success for the future," Pardew said.

Magnusson had promised to keep faith with Pardew and the pair had held meetings about possible targets for the January transfer window, but the club's slide into the bottom three caused alarm.

The chairman and Icelandic banker Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, who provided most of the cash for the ?85 million (US$165.9 million) takeover, were both present at the defeat by Bolton.

"Alan has made an important contribution since joining as manager in September 2003, but this season's results have been disappointing," the club said in a statement.

"The Chairman, Mr Eggert Magnusson, and the Board have been concerned by the performances of recent weeks and feel that it is the right time to make a change in the best interests of the club," it said.

"Mr Magnusson and the Board would like to place on the record their thanks to Alan Pardew for his hard work and commitment and to wish him well for the future," it said. "The search for a successor is now underway in order that a new manager can be in place ahead of the January transfer window."

First team coach Kevin Keen, who will take temporary charge of team affairs until a new appointment has been made, could not face a tougher task in the club's first game without Pardew, at home against leaders Manchester United on Sunday.

Their Christmas fixture list of matches feature games against Fulham, Portsmouth, Manchester City and Reading.

Possible successors include Alan Curbishley, who has a proven track record in the Premiership and Sven-Goran Eriksson, who has still yet to find a job since stepping down as England head coach.

There was sympathy for Pardew from one of the Premiership's longest serving managers, Alex Ferguson.

The Manchester United boss, on hearing the news, said: "Football is unfortunate; it's that kind of industry where failure is very quickly decided upon nowadays. I'm sad to hear it, I don't like anybody losing their job."

Ferguson added: "Alan Pardew can at least be satisfied that he did his best. He gave West Ham great memories last year by taking them to the FA Cup final and actually to within a minute of winning it. I'm sad for him. It's not an easy situation for the lad."

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