James Shan: Darren Moore sacking sad but it won't de-stabilise West Brom

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Caretaker boss James Shan admits the reaction to Darren Moore's sacking within the club has been one of 'sadness' – but insists it will not de-stabilise the squad.

James Shan. (AMA)

Shan is set to take charge of Albion at The Hawthorns tomorrow night when they welcome Swansea City.

He will be supported by Jamie Smith, Albion's under-23s coach, and goalkeeping coach Gary Walsh.

It comes after Moore was sacked on Saturday night alongside his two lieutenants, Graeme Jones and Wayne Jacobs.

"There's definitely been some sadness if I'm honest because of the man and character Darren was," said Shan.

"I've worked with him for six or seven years, I have a very strong professional relationship with him as well as a personal one.

"It's one of sadness, but obviously we have a game on Wednesday so the focus has swiftly and naturally turned to that game.

"The key is that players have been through this process three times in the last 18 months now.

"They're accustomed to it, they're ultra-professional. That will kick in, and it will be business as usual.


"As sad as it is with Darren leaving, the focus will be on getting three points."

Shan, who first joined the Baggies as under-7s coach in 2006, was promoted to first team coach by Moore towards the end of last season.

He called Moore up after hearing the news on Saturday night he had been sacked.

"I just wanted to make sure he was ok," said Shan. "He'd been in the position that I'm currently in last season, so he gave me a few little words of advice.


"That is testament to the character and man that he is."

Albion have 10 games left this season, and there have been question marks over the timing of Moore's sacking, but Shan doesn't believe it will de-stabilise the season.

"Look at world football, it's never a shock when people move on," he said. "Having a technical director in place and going back to the model formed under Dan Ashworth is important.

"The stability in this model comes from your technical director having a big say of recruitment and running the club from top to bottom.

"That's a structure the club has gone back to and one that's proven to usually be very successful."

But Albion's caretaker boss did remark how small the margins between success and failure are in the Championship.

"If you rewind the clock three weeks, if things had gone differently we could be in the top two," he said. "It just shows how tight the Championship is.

"It's weird sometimes how the results can be.

"We've got 30 points to play for, promotion is very much our target.

"I wouldn't for one bit think the players will be distracted, it's the industry that we're in, these things happen. We have to focus on getting three points against Swansea."

Shan has not yet had any reassurances he will keep his job after the new head coach is appointed, but is ready to step up to whatever the club ask him to do.

"I spoke to (chief executive) Mark Jenkins briefly on Saturday, and exchanged an email," he said.

"At the moment he's away but when he returns we'll have a face to face discussion and more in-depth news on that."

When asked if he'd be interested in the job himself, he said: "For me, I have a passion for coaching, and I just want to work at the highest level I could.

"Currently, my role is first team coach and I don't look any further beyond that."

Kieran Gibbs will miss the next two games with his hip injury, and Shan said his squad 'one or two' other niggles as well.

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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