Candidates drop out of Hammers race

PUBLISHED: 16:37 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:35 05 October 2010

THE shortlist for Alan Curbishley s replacement as West Ham manager grew a little shorter today after two of the leading candidates to take over at Upton Park distanced themselves from the job. Slaven Bilic, who was installed as the early favourite to tak

THE shortlist for Alan Curbishley's replacement as West Ham manager grew a little shorter today after two of the leading candidates to take over at Upton Park distanced themselves from the job.

Slaven Bilic, who was installed as the early favourite to take over after Curbishley quit the club on Wednesday, has revealed that he is committed to his current position as Croatia boss.

And Harry Redknapp has insisted there is "no way" he will leave Portsmouth to return to Upton Park, where he was manager for seven years until 2001.

Former Hammers defender Bilic, who is preparing his Croatia team for next week's World Cup qualifying match against England in Zagreb, admits that he would jump at the opportunity to manage West Ham in the future.

But he said that the position has come at the wrong time as he attempts to steer Croatia to the World Cup finals in South Africa in 2010.

"I always said that, if I come back to English football, I want it to be as manager of West Ham," Bilic said. "But I have a contract with Croatia until 2010 and intend to honour it."

Meanwhile Redknapp has ruled himself out of the running and declared his admiration for Curbishley, who quit the club after transfer decisions were taken out of his hands.

Redknapp said: "Alan Curbishley may have gone as West Ham boss - but there's no way I'll replace him.

"Curbs quit because he feels he has been undermined and shown a lack of trust by the owner. I take my hat off to him for sticking to his principles.

"Don't get me wrong, West Ham is a fantastic club, with fantastic fans and - having gone there aged 15 - it has a special place in my heart.

"But I love it at Portsmouth and I have one big advantage over a lot of Premier League bosses these days: I've got an owner who lets the manager manage.

"The days of managing as I know it are coming to end - you will basically be given players and told to get on with it.

"West Ham sold players and it was nothing to do with Alan - but that will happen more and more.

"Let's face it, the way it's going, every Premier League club will be owned by a foreign billionaire.

"They all want to win the title, they all want to be in the Champions League and if they don't get it they'll be changing managers like we change socks. It will be a revolving door that never stops turning.

"And while we're at it, we might as well sack all the scouts too, as there won't be any need if players are coming and going above managers' heads.

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