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Petrovic: I left West Ham on my terms

Former West Ham assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic claims it was his decision to leave the club, despite reports that he was sacked. The former Yugoslavia international joined the Hammers in July as part of Avram Grant's new-look coaching staff, but left Upton Park on Tuesday, with Wally Downes since being appointed defensive coach.

But contrary to reports claiming that Petrovic's departure was a result of the team's bad run, he insists he asked to leave a month ago with a view to going into full-time management.

He told Sky Sports: "Of course it was a very difficult decision because I worked here with fantastic people for four months and I am very proud that I was assistant manager of West Ham United, and of course to be in the Premier League - one of the best and biggest leagues in the world.

"I was speaking to Avram four weeks ago and I told him I want to stop, because I want to be a manager from maybe December or January.

"He asked me, as we had many injured players and a few problems in the squad, if I wanted to stay one more month.

"Of course I wanted to stay one more month to help, because my relationship with the players and all people at the training ground was unbelievably good."

Petrovic admits it was a difficult final visit to the training ground this week, but insists the most important thing is for the club to pick up a win on Saturday.

"It was a little bit emotional with the players. I spoke with the players, Avram spoke with the players, they spoke with me," he added.

"Not just yesterday but also before yesterday. I don't want to go there because I don't want to make myself more important than the game on Saturday.

"The most important thing for the players and for the manager is to win the game on Saturday.

"Because West Ham is bigger and more important than Petrovic. We are here, everybody, for West Ham.

"I want to say, be together, be a team, help Avram and the technical staff, to beat Wigan Athletic and to start to cross the line.

"It's a fantastic club with a great manager, an unbelievably good person, and they need to play in the Premier League."

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