Curbishley and Wilkins axed

Alan Curbishley and Ray Wilkins have left Fulham - but head coach Rene Meulensteen still remains under contract.

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Curbishley and Wilkins have left Fulham

Curbishley and Wilkins have left Fulham

Alan Curbishley and Ray Wilkins have left Fulham with immediate effect - but head coach Rene Meulensteen still remains under contract, Press Association Sport understands.

It has been a whirlwind few days at Craven Cottage, with Friday's shock appointment of Felix Magath as first-team manager resulting in Meulensteen's spell at the helm ending after just 75 days.

The deposed head coach claimed on radio that chief executive Alistair Mackintosh had told him that he had been "released", although Press Association Sport understands he has not left the west Londoners.

However, the same cannot be said for first-team technical director Curbishley and assistant manager Wilkins, who are understood to have left the club following talks with Magath.

Curbishley, 56, was brought in to work alongside Meulensteen on Christmas Eve, while 57-year-old Wilkins joined the coaching staff on December 30.

While those two are leaving the club, the future of Meulensteen remains uncertain and Magath will no doubt face further questions this week about the Dutchman's role as Fulham prepare for Saturday's trip to fellow strugglers West Brom.

Following the sacking of Martin Jol after a poor run of form, former Manchester United coach Meulensteen - appointed head coach under his compatriot

just weeks earlier - took control of first-team duties on December 1.

Speaking to Fulham TV over the weekend in his first interview since taking up the reins, Magath would not be drawn on the future of Meulensteen, preferring instead to focus on his belief that bottom-placed Fulham can beat the drop.

"We signed last Friday night, so the time is too short to make up our mind about this stuff," he said.

"I have only time now to work with the players and prepare the team for the most important game next Saturday. We will talk about the stuff afterwards."

The experienced German expressed his confidence of keeping the club in the top flight despite their precarious position.

"Yeah, I am sure I can [keep Fulham up] because I have done it sometimes before in Germany," Magath said.

"I have taken over clubs in a similar situation to Fulham and I am very confident I can do it once more here in England with Fulham.

"I think 12 games are enough to keep them in the Premier League and we need confidence now. We need spirit and we will start next Saturday at West Bromwich.

"If the players, the staff and fans will support us 100 per cent and the players give 100 per cent in the next days, I am sure we have the potential to avoid relegation."

Magath took his first training session at the club's Motspur Park training ground on Monday and was pleasantly "surprised" by the qualities his new side possess.

"I know not only the German players, but the international players very well," said the 60-year-old, who has previously worked with Lewis Holtby, Sascha Riether and Ashkan Dejagah.

"I would think that we would have a team that has more potential than what we have shown.

"I am sure that we will do that in the next games, show our fans, who I hope will support us in our most important game next weekend against West Bromwich, that we can do better than our last games."


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