Swansea City: Alan Curtis to take charge until end of the season

Alan Curtis
Former Wales forward Alan Curtis played for Swansea over three spells between 1972 and 1990

Swansea City have announced caretaker boss Alan Curtis will remain in charge of the Premier League club for the rest of the season.

The 61-year-old took charge after Garry Monk was sacked on 9 December.

Former Swans player Curtis has since led the side to one win, two draws and two defeats in five games, including three clean sheets.

Swansea lie 17th in the table, two points above the relegation zone, after Saturday's loss at Manchester United.

'Players have responded to him'

In a statement,external-link Swans chairman Huw Jenkins said: "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.

"I know some people will query why we didn't have a replacement lined up when we parted company with Garry Monk, but we didn't expect to be in the situation we were in when you look at our position mid-September."

Who is Alan Curtis?

Alan Curtis remembers his favourite goal for Swansea against Leeds United in 1981

Curtis has been associated with Swansea City since 1972, and played more than 400 games for the club in three spells.

He also played for Leeds United and Southampton, as well as Swansea's rivals Cardiff City.

After making 35 appearances for Wales, he rejoined the Swans as a coach.

He was caretaker manager in 2004 and has since worked under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup.

'We've spoken to a lot of potential managers'

Swansea 'contenders'
David Moyes (top left), Marcelo Bielsa, Roberto di Matteo, Gus Poyet, Brendan Rodgers and Ryan Giggs have all been linked with the Swansea vacancy

Jenkins said finding a long-term replacement for Monk "hasn't been easy".

"It's a unique situation for us and I think we are only now appreciating what other Premier League clubs in our position have gone through in the last five years," he added.

"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."

Jenkins travelled to South America last month as he stepped up his search for Monk's successor, with former Argentina and Chile manager Marcelo Bielsa then the favourite for the job.

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'I believe we can get results'

Swansea were promoted to the Premier League in 2011 and, despite being only two points above the relegation zone, Curtis believes he can guide the club to safety.

"It's an honour to be asked to manage this club until the end of the season," he said.

"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.

"I firmly believe we can get the results required between now and the end of the campaign to push us up the table."

What next?

Swansea are at Oxford United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

They then return to league action with a crucial home match against Sunderland, who are second from bottom, on Wednesday, 13 January.

The Swans then host Watford on Monday, 18 January and visit Martinez's Everton on Sunday, 24 January.

Mixed reaction

Ex-Swansea defender Andy Legg is not surprised Swansea retained Curtis, who he says has "steadied the ship".

But Legg added: "I don't know whether it's the right thing to do because Curt's a legend down there and you've always got that thing of falling out if you get poor results.

"I just hope that Curt continues his recent form and he can keep them in the league."

Former Swansea manager John Hollins is confident Curtis can do that, saying: "I think he'll do a blooming good job.

"I think he will keep them up and go through to the end of the season and have no problem at all."

The club's supporters' trust has called on fans to back Curtis and the players.external-link

'The stakes have never been higher'

BBC Wales football correspondent Rob Phillips: "Alan Curtis has never undertaken a more important role for the club where he is - rightly - already a legend.

Rebuffed in their managerial search, the Swans have been forced to turn to the ultimate 'one of their own.'

Curtis averages a point a game in his caretaker spell. Such a haul from the remaining games should ensure Premier League survival. The stakes have never been higher.