Chairman: Curbs one of the best in England

Chairman Eggert Magnusson has praised Alan Curbishley for taking West Ham United to the brink of Premiership safety after a roller-coaster five months in charge at Upton Park.

After climbing out of the bottom three thanks to yesterday's impressive 3-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers, Hammers are now just one win away from guaranteed survival, and the Chairman insists that the Manager and his backroom staff deserve to achieve their target.

"Alan, Mervyn Day and the rest of the coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for the hard work they have put in," says Mr Magnusson. "The players have rightly received praise for their performances recently, but I feel it is only correct that the manager is applauded for the job he has done.

"Alan came in at a time when a lot of changes were happening at the Club. He had just two weeks with the squad before the January transfer window opened and had to get to grips with some problems that he inherited.

"I have been so impressed with the way he has handled himself. He faced a lot of criticism in the press a couple of months ago but throughout it all he remained calm and focused on the job, and now we are seeing the benefits of that.

"I have always had complete faith in him and knew that he was the right man for this job. For me, he is one of the finest managers in England and, from working with him every day, I can see that he shares my ambition and desire to bring success to West Ham United in the future."

With Hammers now out of the relegation zone and three points clear of 18th-placed Wigan Athletic, it could be that Curbs and his players need not even a point from next week's final match of the season at Manchester United. However, the Chairman only has only one result on his mind.

"We are going to Old Trafford to win," says Mr Magnusson. "The team produced another fantastic performance yesterday - spurred on once again by our magnificent supporters - and we must be confident.

"I have said it many times, but our fans really are the best. The atmosphere in the stadium yesterday was quite amazing, and I know we will have tremendous following again next week against Manchester United.

"Our destiny is now in our own hands. The belief among everyone at the Club is so strong and we will all take that up to Manchester next week. We know that, if we win, we will be safe, and that is a wonderful incentive."