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Under pressure Curbs gets vote of confidence

PUBLISHED: 16:24 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:07 05 October 2010

by BEN WELCH By Ben Welch ALAN Curbishley remained in a defiant mood despite witnessing another Hammer horror at White Hart Lane. The West Ham manager saw his side fall to their third straight 4-0 defeat on Sunday. London rivals Tottenham were the exec

by BEN WELCH

By Ben Welch

ALAN Curbishley remained in a defiant mood despite witnessing another Hammer horror at White Hart Lane.

The West Ham manager saw his side fall to their third straight 4-0 defeat on Sunday.

London rivals Tottenham were the executioners on this occasion, with two first-half headers from Dimitar Berbatov and late goals from Gilberto and Darren Bent.

After replica defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool, the Hammers boss admitted his future may be in doubt.

"I think we are in football and nothing surprises anybody but I wouldn't have thought so," he said.

"They are realistic as well about what has gone on."

Under questioning from a hungry press pack Curbishley fought his corner, pointing to last season's exploits as he masterminded the Hammers' great escape. He also stressed the difficulties he has faced this season, with millions of pounds of talent consigned to the treatment table for long periods of time.

But given the current climate in football - a thirst for instant success - the 50-year-old admitted the board, headed up by Icelandic chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, may feel it's time to wield their axe.

"I think they are realistic about it but we will have to see on that score," said the former Charlton Athletic boss. "It is a results business and up until this week we hadn't been doing too bad. We just have to bounce back."

Sections of West Ham supporters have already lost faith in Curbishley, directing a number of abusive chants his way. But the Upton Park supremo believes he has the backing of the fans.

"They were happy when we were eight points clear in 10th spot looking at the teams above us who were having a little bit of a wobble as well," he said.

"But we have just not managed to bridge the gap and make it up. But you know, football is football and you have just got to get on with it. It is results that count."

And it's results Curbishley desperately needs after another four-goal demolition without reply.

Things are not about to get any easier for the Hammers as they prepare to take on Blackburn Rovers and Everton in the coming weeks.

But the West Ham manager believes the season is far from over.

"We have managed to shoot our goal difference to pieces which was looking very good.

"We have just lost three games on the spin and we still find ourselves there. It is all still to play for," he added.

With former Upton Park defender Slaven Bilic, currently manager of Croatia, this week linked with his job, Curbishley is clearly a man under pressure - but the club moved quickly to reassure him that his job was safe.

A statement issued yesterday said: "The board of West Ham recognise that recent results have been disappointing and frustrating for everyone connected to the club.

"There is no question of Alan Curbishley's future as manager being called into doubt.

"Alan, his staff and the players have done well to put the club into the top half of the table, despite a massive injury list, and they have the full support of the board.

"Of course, there are challenges to be met and further improvements needed to keep the club moving forward.

"The board will work with Alan to ensure that the progress we have made is maintained and built on to deliver success and long-term stability for West Ham.


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