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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 07:23 GMT
Curbishley out to silence critics
By Mandeep Sanghera

Alan Curbishley speaking at his unveiling as West Ham manager on Wednesday
Curbishley is back at the club where he played between 1975-1979
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley is ready to shake off concerns that he is unproven when it comes to dealing with big-name players.

The former Charlton boss reportedly failed to land the England job because he had not managed a high-profile club.

But he said: "People say I've been at the same club for a long while and have not managed these players or those.

"I'm hoping if we can be successful then 'yes' I think I can attract players and work with bigger players."

He added: "Hopefully, I can do that. But that's for the future. We've got to use all our efforts short term."

West Ham are languishing third-from-bottom in the Premiership and some of the current players have been criticised for their performances this season.

Captain Nigel Reo-Coker believes he will get some of the blame for former manager Alan Pardew's sacking on Monday and that he fears for his future at the club.

There is also a question mark over Argentine duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano.

I was just seeking out Sir Alex's advice on a couple of things - He was writing out his Christmas cards and wanted to get back to them

Alan Curbishley

Curbishley admitted he would not shirk making any tough decisions over players but that all the squad would be given a fair chance to prove their worth to him.

"I've never been afraid of doing that (putting noses out of joint)," said Curbishley.

"Obviously, I know quite a lot of the players and some I don't know but it's a clean slate for everybody.

"I have not got any pre-conceived ideas as I haven't seen West Ham enough for that to happen."

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Curbishley emphasised his main aim was beating the drop before concentrating on the expansive style of football the Hammers fans demand.

Asked if he thought he had enough quality at his disposal to achieve Premiership survival, he answered: "Yes.

"There's been a bit of criticism about them because of what they did last year and everybody is hoping that we respond now."

West Ham play top-flight leaders Manchester United on Sunday in Curbishley's first game in charge of the club he played for between 1975 and 1979.

The players taken a lot of criticism because of what has happened in the last couple of days and they probably owe everyone a performance

Alan Curbishley

Ironically, he sought out the Old Trafford club's boss Sir Alex Ferguson for advice before taking the West Ham post.

"I spoke to Alex this week and I said 'West Ham, they're third from bottom'. He said 20 years ago Man Utd were as well when he took over," said Curbishley.

"He said what you have got is an opportunity to go into a club and be successful.

"I spoke to a few people because it's not the situation I envisaged going into a club - mid-stream and in a difficult position. But because it is this club it changed my mind.

"I was just seeking out Sir Alex's advice on a couple of things. It wasn't too serious. He was writing out his Christmas cards and wanted to get back to them."

Curbishley says he could not reject taking the job just two days after his friend Pardew was sacked.

And he praised the job his predecessor has done.

"I had a bit of thinking time and it was just something that I could not turn down," he said.

"I know it might not sound right but maybe the players owe Alan Pardew a performance.

"I think Man Utd is a massive game but the players have taken a lot of criticism because of what has happened in the last couple of days and they probably owe everyone a performance.

"It would be great if that was with a win as well and no-one would obviously be more delighted than me."



SEE ALSO
Curbishley keen to be a local hero
14 Dec 06 |  Football
Curbishley named West Ham manager
13 Dec 06 |  West Ham Utd
Curbishley faces Hammers battle
13 Dec 06 |  West Ham Utd
Reo-Coker reveals West Ham doubts
13 Dec 06 |  West Ham Utd
Pardew sacked as West Ham manager
11 Dec 06 |  West Ham Utd
Argentine deals will haunt Pardew
11 Dec 06 |  Football


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