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Clarke defends Baggies record

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15 Dec 2013 18:02:00

Clarke defends Baggies record

Steve Clarke has expressed "deep regret" at his sacking by West Brom, claiming he had "unfinished business" at the Hawthorns.

Baggies head coach Clarke was dismissed on Saturday following a 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Cardiff, the midlands outfit's fourth straight loss, with Roberto Di Matteo and Martin Jol the early favourites to succeed him.

Scotsman Clarke had just one full season in charge after a coaching career spent working under the likes of Jose Mourinho and Sir Bobby Robson and felt he deserved more time.

In a statement released by the League Managers Association, Clarke said: "I believe I have unfinished business at West Bromwich Albion Football Club so it is with deep regret that I was relieved of duties as head coach last night.

"I could not have been better prepared for my first job in management after over 14 years coaching experience learning from some of the great managers in the modern era. It was certainly a challenge to succeed Roy Hodgson, having been appointed England manager, after he successfully guided the club to a 10th place finish in 2011/12, after only securing their Barclays Premier League status the year before.

"It goes without saying that I was extremely proud to have built on that achievement by securing the club's highest ever finish in the Barclays Premier League and for over 30 years in the top flight by finishing eighth in 2012/13.

"Going into this season expectations were high, perhaps unrealistically so, but with it still being only our fourth consecutive season in the top flight, our primary objective had to be establishing our status in the Barclays Premier League. I was, and remain convinced, that we were well placed to achieve this aim.

"It has been an honour to manage this club and I would like to thank the staff who have assisted me in every possible way as well as the fans who have been tremendous throughout. Now, I wish everyone connected with the club the very best for the future."


PA

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