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West Brom boss Alan Pardew escapes the sack due to improved performance at Watford

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Alan Pardew has managed to evade the sack yet again despite falling to his sixth straight defeat as Albion boss.

Alan Pardew. (AMA)

The Baggies board have decided to keep the failing head coach in place for at least one more game due to an improved performance against Watford even though Albion lost 1-0.

It's understood a lack of credible alternatives has kept Pardew in the hot-seat for now, but the board are now in danger of coming under criticism for failing to act.

Pardew was appointed head coach in November on the recommendation of long-term friend and technical director Nick Hammond, but he has won just one of his 15 league games and the Baggies are now eight points from safety.

There are also several candidates who would be open to an approach including former players Graham Potter, who has taken Ostersunds from the Swedish fourth tier to the Europa League, and Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes who still holds Albion close to his heart.

The Baggies interviewed Michael O'Neill in November when Tony Pulis was sacked, and may contemplate returning for the Northern Ireland boss.

However, O'Neill signed a four-year contract extension with Northern Ireland in January and their decision to plump for Pardew instead of him just over three months ago could have burned some bridges.

Albion lost 1-0 to Watford on Saturday but deserved to get something out of the game after a committed performance from their players.

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They looked more secure after Pardew switched to a five-man midfield following the advice of Chris Brunt's dressing room rant seven days previously.

Despite that, fans in the away end joined in with a chant of 'You're getting sacked in the morning' that started in the home end and there was a smattering of supporters who sang 'Alan Pardew, get out of our club' at full-time.

After the game, Pardew wasn't sure he was safe but did keep referring to the Leicester game coming up, and it's now been confirmed he will be in charge for that fixture.

"It’s tough because you work on things and you try to improve the weaker areas of your team, but I thought after last week we had to kind of go back to basics, concentrate on the strengths of our team," he said.

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"All you can do is keep working on your team. That is what I will do with John (Carver) and Darren (Moore) and my staff.

"It leaves us in a difficult position, let’s be honest. It’s not where we want to be. The league table looks daunting.

"From myself and the players' point of view we are best focussing on Leicester, trying to get a win and go from there.

"I am frustrated that we have not got the results perhaps we deserved. Particularly in the two Everton games.

"These last three or four games have been disappointing, from the injuries of the Liverpool game.

"We have to take forward the positives of the commitment they showed to me. I thank them for that, I feel for them more than myself."

When Pardew was asked if he doubted his own abilities following this dreadful run with the Baggies, he said: "I have been in the game long enough not to doubt myself."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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