Saturday 25 February 2017

Swansea put Alan Curtis in charge until the end of the season

Phil Blanche

Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis will be in charge for the rest of the season
Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis will be in charge for the rest of the season

Swansea have appointed Alan Curtis as their manager until the end of the season.

Curtis has been in caretaker charge since Swansea sacked Garry Monk on December 9 after a run of only one win in 12 games.

Under Curtis' command, Swansea have won one, drawn two and lost two of their five games and are currently two points above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

Announcing the appointment on the club's official website, chairman Huw Jenkins said: "Alan Curtis and the current staff set-up will continue until the end of the season. We firmly believe it is the right decision for Swansea City."

It is understood that former boss Brendan Rodgers was Swansea's preferred choice to succeed Monk.

But Rodgers wanted to take an extended break after leaving Liverpool in October and Jenkins' search for a manager took him to South America, where he met former Argentina, Chile and Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa.

Those discussions floundered and Gus Poyet, Roberto di Matteo and Jose Mourinho's former Chelsea assistant Jose Morais were all strongly linked with the position as Curtis oversaw an improvement in performances.

Swansea beat West Brom and drew with West Ham and Crystal Palace, with the two defeats being narrow 2-1 losses at Manchester City and Manchester United.

"Alan has been with us through good and bad times and was part of the management team that helped the club secure its Football League status over 12 years ago," Jenkins said.

"He is fully aware of the next important job he has ahead of him to dig deep and find the required levels of performance and motivation to secure our Premier League status - our main goal this season.

"We believe there is nobody with more knowledge and experience of the club to do that than Alan Curtis.

"He has served Swansea City so well for more than 40 years and played an integral part in our recent success under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk.

"We have a person at the helm who fully represents all Swansea City stands for, has the respect of the players and who will provide the calm reassurance and encouragement of our footballing beliefs.

"We have all been impressed with the way he has improved performance levels over the last five games.

"The players have obviously responded to him because we have seen an uplift in performances.

"I know some people will query why we didn't have a replacement lined up when we parted company with Garry Monk, but we didn't expect to be in the situation we were in when you look at our position mid-September.

"We hoped and expected things would eventually turn around. When they didn't, we felt we had to act quickly in the best interests of the club going forward."

Jenkins admitted that appointing a manager had proved a difficult exercise over the past month.

"Finding a replacement hasn't been easy because we didn't want to make a short-term decision that would be detrimental to the club long-term," Jenkins said.

"It's a unique situation for us and I think we are only now appreciating what other Premier League clubs in our position have gone through in the last five years.

"We've spoken to a lot of potential managers. Some didn't want to leave the clubs they were at this late stage in the season, while others didn't want to put their reputation on the line by joining a club at the wrong end of the table.

"In the end, we felt the best decision was to keep things in-house and change as little as we can until taking stock in the summer.

"We need to make sure we stick together as players, staff and supporters and give everything as one.

"We still have plenty of work left to do and being part of the Premier League is vital to that continued development.''

Curtis' first game in full-time charge will be the FA Cup third-round tie at Oxford on Sunday, before two Premier League games at home against Sunderland and Watford the following week.

Press Association

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