Pearce: I Didn't Apply

Stuart Pearce says he has not applied for the manager's job at Upton Park - and realises that the post will go to someone with more experience.

Despite speculation that he was applying to take over where Harry left off, he says: "I'm sure the club is looking for someone with a hell of a lot more experience than I have: I'm basically a managerial novice.

"But somewhere or other, sooner or later, I'm going to have to get experience by actually working on the shop floor, so someone is going to have to take a chance on me hopefully."

He did not apply for the position, and he reveals: "The situation is I'm an employee of the club and it seems ridiculous to put it in writing: I work for the club and I'm in every day.

"As far as I was concerned if I was offered the job of course I would take it, but that's as far as it has gone."

Stuart does not know whether being at West Ham as a player before becoming manager would have offered any benefits, and he explains: "I'm not sure whether that is an advantage or not: sometimes you build up in your own mind the belief in certain individuals' ability.

"But as far as I'm concerned it is pie in the sky at the moment: West Ham United are looking for a manager with a lot more experience, and that's it. 

"I'm not resigned to getting it or not getting it, the fact of the matter is I'm a player for West Ham United until the end of June and until a new manager comes in I would think a lot of players at West Ham are up in the air a little bit."

Stuart was reticent to talk about whether he would consider a 'number two' position if the new manager required his services, saying: "It is pure speculation, and it's pointless me even commenting on that because all it does is feed a headline in the newspaper again, which is a waste of time for me.

"As far as I'm concerned I'm contracted as a player to West Ham in the summer - and that's as far as it goes.

"West Ham haven't got a manager at the moment, and the club are obviously quite busy punting around trying to sort out a manager, from what I can gather."

When a new man is appointed, he will make a decision whether to carry on then, and says: "Firstly it's whether I would want to continue playing, and secondly whether I would figure in a new manager's plans.

"Common sense tells me that at 39 I might be one of the first to be shown the door, but that's a question on who the new manager is and whether he'd want me to play. 

"There are a few questions to be answered but I have an open mind; I don't think to myself I've got a God-given right to be contracted.

"I have said many times before that things change very quickly in football, and this week has proved it.

"I was on the verge of talking to Harry about a new one year deal, and the next thing I know there is no one year deal, no manager, and no assistant manager.

"When things settle down and a new manager is appointed I'm sure destinies will be sorted.

"I've not ruled anything in or out, all I'm saying is that two weeks ago I made the decision that if Harry was happy to keep me here as a player I'd be happy to stay.

"I've no idea what is going to happen until a new manager is appointed.

"It will be resolved in a week or two and I don't get my hopes up or dashed one way or the other, because I've been around football too long."

He does admit, however, that the departure of the managerial duo is still sinking in, and he says: "I'm very disappointed that Harry and Frank have left the club; they had a massive association with West Ham and have been here a long time - I think most at the club are disappointed to see him go."

But his own ambition to be a boss again is undiminished, and he adds: "It's like any job; my ego is not big enough to say that when I take a job as a manager somewhere in the future I'm going to be successful at it; I don't know that.

"But it won't be for the want of trying and I'm very open minded and I'm happy to learn the job as quickly as I possibly can."

And so his thoughts turn to Saturday, and a final day of season clash at Middlesbrough: "We're desperate to win the game, if nothing else for Harry, and it's important show our minds aren't elsewhere and we scrap out a result.

"I'm sure he will look at the result, put it that way."