Date: 5th December 2017 at 12:32pm
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Assistant head coach Gerry Francis has confirmed that he has rejected an offer from Alan Pardew to remain as an assistant following the departure of Tony Pulis.

Citing ‘moral obligations’ the 65 year old told Sky Sports that he couldn’t continue in the role given his ties with Pulis since 2008 and spells at Stoke City, Crystal Palace and latterly West Brom.

Francis now follows Mark O’Connor, Gary Megson and Ben Garner who have since departed.

‘It is with regret that I feel I cannot accept Alan Pardew’s and West Brom’s offer to stay on at the club due to moral obligations on my part. It has nothing to do with Alan or the club where I have spent three enjoyable years. I wish Alan and the club owners, chairman, directors, players and supporters every success in the future.’

Francis went on to say.

‘I am sure Alan along with the talented squad of players will very soon change the fortunes of the club in the right direction and climb up the table.’

Pardew was quoted last week as indicating that he wanted Francis to remain owing to his experience in the game and of the group.

‘He’s someone I respect and somebody who did a terrific job and knows this group of players so if I can keep him I will. Obviously he has a loyalty to the group that was here before that is probably tugging at him a little bit but I hope he stays.’

With John Carver coming in as assistant, Jonathan Gould remaining as goalkeeping coach and Darren Moore helping to conduct training Pardew will likely be looking at at least one appointment now to complete his backroom staff.

‘We’ve got some internal people I want to look at. From what I can see the organisation here is really sound, sometimes it’s good to promote from within. Me and John are experienced enough to carry the load for a couple of weeks and then in 14 or 15 days time we’ll have our team in place.’

Additional quotes – E&S.

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