Swansea put Alan Curtis in charge until end of season
Published 07/01/2016 | 18:16
Swansea have appointed Alan Curtis as their manager until the end of the season.
The 61-year-old has been in caretaker charge since Swansea sacked Garry Monk on December 9 after a run of only one win in 12 games.
Curtis' first game in full-time charge will be Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Oxford, before Premier League home games against Sunderland and Watford.
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 over 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 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."
Curtis said it was an honour to manage Swansea for the rest of the season.
"If the club believes I am the right man to take things forward then I will give everything I have to the role," he said.
"If I'm honest I didn't envisage taking caretaker charge for more than a couple of games, as I've done on two previous occasions over the years.
"But as the weeks have gone on I feel I have grown into the job and I'm a lot happier now taking it until the end of the season.
"The biggest plus factor for me has been the response and attitude of the players.
"I think everyone who watches Swansea regularly has seen a vast improvement in performances over the last five games, even though we probably could and should have picked up a better points total.
"From what I've seen, not just on the pitch but also on the training ground, I firmly believe we can get the results required between now and the end of the campaign to push us up the table."
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.
"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."