Curbishley could return to replace Pardew

Alan Pardew left his role as Charlton manager by mutual consent on Saturday night after the board at The Valley finally lost patience with the 47-year-old following their 5-2 defeat at home to Sheffield United.

The result saw Charlton slip into the Championship relegation zone on the back of a run of eight games without a win. Just before being sacked, Pardew said: "Of course I'm going to fear for my position when the results have been so poor and the goals we have conceded have made it so difficult for the team to play.

"I'm not sitting here thinking everything is happy glory. My ego isn't that big but I still believe in what I can do. My record up until coming to this club has been very good but it has been difficult here. When I arrived they were on the slide and I haven't been able to stop that. We're in a sticky situation and I have to accept whatever decision is made."

Later, in a statement on the club's website, www.cafc.co.uk, Charlton's chairman, Richard Murray, said: "On reflection of results this season, and looking at the future challenges for the remainder of the campaign, it was agreed by both parties that Alan would leave the club with immediate effect."

The assistant manager, Phil Parkinson, is in temporary charge for tomorrow night's trip to Queen's Park Rangers, but Alan Curbishley, who resigned at The Valley after 15 years in charge at the end of the 2005-06 season, will be an early contender for the vacancy.

Pardew, who took his previous club, West Ham, into the Premier League as well as to the 2006 FA Cup final, arrived at The Valley on Christmas Eve of the same year following the brief reigns of Iain Dowie and Les Reed. The former Addicks midfielder narrowly failed to keep them in the top flight, but hopes were high of an immediate return despite the loss of their key striker Darren Bent to Tottenham Hotspur.

However, a promotion push failed to materialise and Charlton finished the season in 11th place.

This season has seen the south London club lurch from one setback to another, with a proposed multi-million pound takeover from Dubai falling through while the team continued to struggle.

Charlton have won just six of their last 29 Championship matches and are four points off the foot of the table.

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