Bradley sacked after 11 matches

Swansea players felt that they were not doing enough defensive training under manager Bob Bradley.
Swansea players felt that they were not doing enough defensive training under manager Bob Bradley.

LONDON • Swansea City are looking for their third manager of the season after Bob Bradley was dismissed on Tuesday - only 85 days after taking over from Francesco Guidolin.

The American's position became untenable after the crushing 4-1 home defeat by West Ham on Boxing Day, with the toxic atmosphere inside the Liberty Stadium convincing the club's owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan that change was needed to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

The Swans are second from bottom in the Premier League and four points adrift of safety after a run of only two wins in 11 matches under Bradley.

Ryan Giggs is the front-runner to take over, while Roy Hodgson and Chris Coleman, who are considered candidates for the role, have yet to be approached.

Hodgson is out of work after leaving the England job in June while Swansea spoke to Coleman, the Wales manager, at the end of last season.

Giggs, the former Manchester United winger, may need convincing that he can work with Swansea's American owners after their apparent concerns about his lack of experience and an underwhelming interview when he was overlooked for the job in October.

The Welshman, the preferred choice of Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, claimed that the club had not matched his ambition after the owners plumped for Bradley in the wake of the dismissal of Guidolin.

Although Bradley was well-liked by the Swansea players, they had lost faith in him having the expertise to guide them to safety.

"I knew what I was getting into when I came to Swansea and realised the hardest part was always going to be getting points in the short run," Bradley said.

"But I believe in myself and I believe in going for it. That's what I've always told my players. Football can be cruel and to have a chance you have to be strong. I wish Swansea the best and look forward to my next challenge."

The club said their decision was based on Bradley's team selection, his poor record of seven defeats in 11 matches and 29 goals conceded in that time. The players also believed they were not doing sufficient defensive work in training.

Jenkins held discussions with the owners, and then delivered the news to Bradley, who had taken training earlier in the day.

Levien and Kaplan had been keen to give Bradley the January transfer window to strengthen the squad and more time to turn around results but realised they needed to make a change.

Alan Curtis, the first-team coach, and Paul Williams, who was appointed as assistant manager to Bradley, will take training and could be in charge for Saturday's match at home to Bournemouth.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2016, with the headline 'Bradley sacked after 11 matches'. Print Edition | Subscribe