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May 19, 2011

Keen: I want Hammers job full-time

West Ham caretaker boss Kevin Keen believes he is ready to make the step up into full-time management and hopes he will be considered for the Hammers job on a permanenet basis.

Keen, 44, is in his third spell as caretaker manager at Upton Park, having also sat in the hotseat between the reigns of Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley in 2006, before stepping in again when Curbishely was sacked in 2008 prior to Gianfranco Zola's appointment.

But the former midfielder, who played for the Hammers between 1983 and 1993, insists he is ready to take on the role left vacant by the sacking of Avram Grant and become full-time manager nine years after first joining West Ham's coaching team.

"I'd love to be given the job,'' Keen told talkSPORT. "I'd love to be given that sort of opportunity. At the same time the owners are experienced and they know what they want for next season.

"They've been chairmen in the Championship before with Birmingham and they'll have a vision of how they want to take the club forward. I'm claret and blue through and through, I played for the club for nine years and I've coached for nine years so I'd love to be given the opportunity.''

Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton remains the bookies' favourite to take the West Ham job, with QPR boss Neil Warnock, Martin O'Neill and Sam Allardyce also mooted as potential candidates.

Keen is considered somewhat of an outside to be hired but has a chance to prove his credentials when he takes control of West Ham's last match of the season against Sunderland this weekend.

He says he has told club vice-chairman Karen Brady that he would like to be considered for the role and believes his grounding with the Hammers would hold him in good stead.

"I feel I've served my apprenticeship,'' he said. "I've worked with Tony Carr at the academy, I spent four years with the young lads and then I spent a couple of years in the reserves until Alan Pardew made me first-team coach.

"I've worked with Alan Pardew, Alan Curbishley, Gianfranco Zola and obviously Avram Grant this year. I look at what Brian McDermott has done with Reading this year, someone who's very loyal, very hardworking, very humble and maybe it's time for West Ham to go for someone like that.''

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