FOOTBALL

Swansea sack manager Bob Bradley

Bob Bradley waited years for the chance to coach a team in one of Europe's top soccer leagues.

When he finally got it, the job proved too big for him.

The 58-year-old American was fired as Swansea manager on Tuesday, just 85 days after taking over at the English Premier League strugglers.

Bradley won two of his 11 matches in charge, with his fate sealed a day after a 4-1 loss at home to West Ham that left Swansea in the relegation zone.

After taking training on Tuesday, Bradley - the first American coach to manage in the Premier League - later returned to the club's training ground to be told he had been dismissed by Swansea's American co-owners.

'I knew exactly what I was getting into when I came to Swansea,' Bradley said by text message, 'and realised the hardest part was always going to be getting points in the short run.

'But I believe in myself and I believe in going for it.'

Swansea are second last in the standings, only above Hull on goal difference after 18 games of the 38-game season. The Welsh club is four points from safety, having been one place out of the relegation zone when Bradley joined.

'With the club going through such a tough time,' Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins said in a statement, 'we have to try and find the answers to get ourselves out of trouble.

'Personally, I have nothing but praise for Bob. He is a good man, a good person who gave everything to the job.'

Once regarded as a beacon of stability and an example of how a soccer club should be run, Swansea will begin the search for its fifth fulltime manager in less than three years.

American businessmen Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan have run the south Wales club since July, when they bought a 68 per cent controlling stake.

Former Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs and current Wales manager Chris Coleman are the early favorites with British bookmakers.

Bradley arrived at Liberty Stadium with a strong reputation after spells at clubs in Norway and France, as well as stints as coach of the US and Egypt national teams during his 35-year coaching career.

Turning around Swansea's fortunes was always going to be a difficult task, though, especially for a man with no experience of British soccer. Bradley couldn't shore up Swansea's defense - the team conceded 29 goals in his time in charge, and at least three goals in eight of his 11 games - and had only one attacker of true quality, Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Bradley was unconcerned about coming under scrutiny - mostly from British soccer fans on social media - for his occasional use of American soccer terms like 'PK' (for penalty kick) and 'road games' (for away games), but was worried about Swansea's sloppy play and failure to keep clean sheets.

Assistant coaches Paul Williams and Alan Curtis will take charge of the team in the short term.

AAP