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Who is the weakest link?

Filed: Sunday, 6th May 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

The five managers set to be involved in the Premiership's final day relegation battle next weekend have their say ...

Lawrie Sanchez - Fulham
15th place - 39 points

"It was important today that we won. West Ham have hit a run of form so it was important in our last home game that we picked up three points.

"Hopefully now - although mathematics come into it - that will be enough by the time we go to Middlesbrough next week to keep us safe. But if we have to go to Middlesbrough and get something this result today will get us that anyway.

"When I came into the job I said we needed five points from five games; we've got four, now we have to go and get the final one - and that should see us through.

"I said to the players yesterday that West Ham would beat Bolton. That was a given, a change of manager and all that went with it. West Ham were on a roll so they were always going to be above us if we didn't get the three points from today.

"I said 'whilst this is in your hands, take your chance - because next week it won't be if you don't get something from this game'. They did, and full credit to the players."

Neil Warnock - Sheffield United
16th place - 38 points

"At the start of the season we would have taken this with one game to go. It could come down to goals scored; everyone's got a chance.

"Charlton have got got a chance if they beat Tottenham and then go to Liverpool next week; who's to say what team they'll play? So I think it's right down to the wire.

"I've said all along it will probably go down to the last game - and nothing changes. We're fighting our corner and thank goodness next week we'll have 32 and a half thousand behind us."

Alan Curbishley - West Ham United
17th place - 38 points

"We go into the game next week knowing that if we pick something up it may be enough. It takes us into next week with a great chance.

"We knew that going to Old Trafford on the last day of the season they could be Champions, or could need to beat us to be Champions etc - but who knows?

"We're playing well, we look forward to it and we're going into it knowing it's in our hands. And that's all I can ask.

"We've picked up some results and the confidence has come back. The players are doing what they do naturally, there's no thinking about it any more.

"It's been a settled side and we've steered clear of injuries - which is always going to give you a chance."

Paul Jewell - Wigan Athletic
18th place - 35 points

"It's now out of our hands. We've got to go to Sheffield United in a positive frame of mind and get three points - even though that might not be enough.

"For the first time this season we're playing catch-up football - so maybe the pressure might be off us a little bit.

"The legal action has got nothing to do with me - that's the Chairman and the Chief Executive's business and it's their perogative to do that.

"I don't really want to talk about it because it sounds like sour grapes - but if rules have been broken people need to be punished.

"Now if the League deem 5.5m fair punishment then that's up to them. West Ham beat us here fair and square last week - I've got no qualms about that. So I'd rather let other people talk about that.

"For West Ham to keep on playing Tevez he must be legally registered, even though we keep hearing these rumours. But the reason we're third bottom is not because of Tevez or West Ham - it's because we haven't been good enough in enough games this season.

"We've been kicked in the teeth and given a good hiding, but we're still breathing. So what we've got to do now is get up off the floor and start fighting back - and that's what we're going to do next Sunday."

Alan Pardew - Charlton Athletic
19th place - 33 points

"Two wins would be enough for us, so if we beat Spurs we will have a great chance.

"In the last two or three games we have worked the same or less than the opposition - and that is unacceptable. We have to work harder than the opposition if we are going to win.

"I just hope that we can get a little break which makes it go our way. It's hard to call. We will know on Tuesday where we stand."

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by Roy
06:45PM 6th May 2007
''I think Wigan will be going down, I can't see them going to Sheff Utd and getting anything. It doesn't matter though as we are going to go to Old Trafford and get a result ...''

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