Allardyce hints when future will be decided; honest on emotions after relegation

Sam Allardyce says there has been no decision about his West Brom future but expects there to be one before the end of the season.

The contract Allardyce signed with Albion when he took charge in December has a break clause in the event of relegation. The club went down following last weekend’s 3-1 loss at Arsenal. The Baggies, second bottom of the Premier League, next host Liverpool on Sunday, then West Ham three days later before facing Leeds on May 23.

Asked at a press conference on Friday about what had been said in recent talks with West Brom’s hierarchy, Allardyce said: “I think more than likely… we’d have a decision before Leeds, so myself and the club going forward will put everything to bed before the end of the season and we can see where we go from there.”

He added: “There’s no decision been made yet, because there’s a lot to discuss, a lot to go through; there’s a lot to divulge. I need a bit of time, a bit of thought, a lot of discussion and we’ll give an answer before the end of the season.”

West Brom are the eighth club Allardyce has managed in the Premier League. This marks his first relegation from the division.

“The shock for me is I can’t get my head around it because I never expected it,” the 66-year-old said.

“When I came here, I didn’t expect to get relegated. I expected I’d get them safe, on the basis of past experiences. So I never really worried about that or even thought about it until when I woke up the other day and said after Arsenal, ‘that’s it now’.

“Every employee at West Brom, everybody that comes and works on match day, everybody that works at the training ground – disappointment for them, and the fans of course. But we have to move forward as quick as we can.

“I cannot make a quick decision on this; it is not a quick decision I can make. Like I said, the decision will be made before the end of the season.”

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Albion were 19th with seven points from 13 games when Allardyce took charge, two points adrift of safety; their subsequent league record has been four wins, seven draws and 11 defeats.

“I’ve not felt anything like this for I can’t remember how long,” Allardyce said.

“It doesn’t feel good. But we have to accept what it is and get over it because we’ve got three really very important games from a professionalism point of view.

“I said to the players try to finish above (also relegated, 18th-placed) Fulham, which is the best we can do now, and finish the season as strong as we can, with some pride in our performances.

“I have to say I haven’t been too discouraged by the performances, only gutted by the results recently.

“So near yet so far. I keep driving, lying in bed and games come into my mind. So many nearlys. It just preys on my mind sometimes. I have to wake up sometimes and just get up and shake it off and get on with it.

“I think of so many times when we’ve been so close and just not got over the line.

“In the end, whatever we might complain about – and I do some complaining about the decisions of VAR, refereeing decisions, fixtures fitted in that shouldn’t be – ultimately it is our responsibility and it has been our own downfall that we haven’t achieved more.”

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