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West Bromwich Albion will not be afraid to pull the plug on Alan Pardew’s reign in a bid to spark life into their battle against relegation, and are already considering candidates to replace their under-pressure coach, The Independent understands.
Pardew avoided action from the club last week when chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman were dismissed following “poor results this season” but, rather than that being a vote of confidence in the former Crystal Palace manager, it is understood that his position remains under threat.
This week’s humiliating incident in Barcelona, when four of Pardew’s most senior players were questioned by police after stealing a taxi during late-night frolics in the Spanish city, has further weakened Pardew’s standing with the club’s owners who realise they may need to roll the dice once more this season in a bid to stay in the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, sources with knowledge of the owners' thinking have made clear that the club will 'do anything' to preserve their Premier League status, given the financial implications of relegating the club they spent around £180m on in 2016.
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Albion sacked Tony Pulis in late November in a bid to arrest their decline but the Baggies have won just one Premier League game since and remain rooted to the bottom of the table. A brief FA Cup run brought some respite, but Southampton knocked them out in the wake of Taxigate and suddenly the outlook at the Hawthorns is even more bleak.
Owner Guochuan Lai is hoping he doesn’t have another difficult decision to make.