Temporary boss Kevin Keen enters race for West Ham job

Kevin Keen
Keen played 263 games for the Hammers, scoring 27 goals

West Ham first-team coach and temporary boss Kevin Keen has declared his interest in taking the West Ham manager's job on a permanent basis.

Keen, 41, will lead the relegated Hammers against Sunderland on Sunday after Avram Grant's dismissal.

"I would love the opportunity to speak to the owners and [chief executive] Karren Brady and give my views about the future," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Maybe in the future I will be given a opportunity to turn it around."

Keen progressed through the club's academy to play for West Ham for 10 years between 1983 and 1993 and believes combining the club's young players with their traditional values is the best route out of the Championship.

"This is my club. People say claret and blue runs through your veins and that is very much me," he said.

"I think we have got a superb young bunch of footballers coming through in he likes of James Tomkins, Junior Stanislas, Zavon Hines, Freddie Sears, Jack Collison and Jordan Spence.

"There is a real opportunity to go back to the days of pass and move and make sure people tackle like [former player and manager] Billy Bonds and want to run through brick walls for this football club."

It has been estimated that West Ham's relegation will involve a loss of income for the club of up to £50m.

And West Ham, who were £110m in debt according to owner David Sullivan when he took control in January 2010, are likely to sell their more established stars to compensate for reduced revenues in the second tier.

Gold has admitted that it will be "very difficult" to keep England internationals such as Scott Parker, Rob Green and Carlton Cole at the club.

The contracts of Matthew Upson, Kieron Dyer, Danny Gabbidon and Lars Jacobsen all expire this season.

Striker Demba Ba may also attract bids from Premier League clubs with a record of seven goals in 12 top-flight games since signing from Hoffenheim in January.

Keen defended the Senegalese international and denied reports that he had refused to sign autographs at the club's end-of-season dinner, provoking an altercation with fans.

"Demba Ba has been so unfairly criticised. It is unbelievable," said Keen.

"He signed the gentleman's autograph who then unfortunately made some sort of comment about his race and then it was all over and done with in 20 seconds."

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