Curbs ready to shoulder criticism

ALAN CURBISHLEY believes the 15 years of praise he had as Charlton manager will sustain him through all the criticism he is enduring at West Ham.

Curbishley does not expect the good times to suddenly start rolling again just because his side contrived a highly flattering 4-1 win over Blackburn at Upton Park on Saturday to register their best start to a season for nine years.

Had they lost, especially to Paul Ince’s rugged Rovers, there can be little doubt that Curbishley would now be a giant step nearer losing his job – no matter how strange that sounds.

In the 20 months Curbishley has been manager, he has avoided a seemingly inevitable relegation and finished 10th last season despite numerous high-profile injuries.

Last week’s sale of Anton Ferdinand was clearly not Curbishley’s decision however and endorsed the fans’ feeling that he is not in charge of his own destiny.

He said: “I got some criticism last season and more now which I will take but I’ve sat at Charlton when other managers were getting it, being called turnips and jokers and whatever else, and I wondered what it was like. Now I’ve found out.

“But as long as it is me getting it and not the players then fine, because it is the players who have got to go out there and perform.

“There’s not too much I can do about it except for us to keep winning games and what will be will be. The board have put me under no pressure whenever.

“The man in the street? I was told once early in my career that in this game you just can’t hide.

“If it’s going badly you can’t stop going out and taking your kids to school, you can’t stop going around the supermarket with your wife. You’ve got to carry on as normal, not hide away.

“I’ve had 15 years of people patting me on the back before I came back here and I knew then what the situation was and what the responsibility was.

“But I can’t go around all the time just defending myself. It does feel I’ve had to do that more than I should have but now I’m just going to get on with it.”

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