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Clarke deeply disappointed after West Brom axe falls

Steve Clarke has spoken of his deep regret at being sacked as manager of West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies suffered their fourth defeat in a row when beaten 1-0 by Cardiff City on Saturday which saw them drop 16th on the Premier League table and just two points clear of the relegation zone.

That result prompted the Albion board to make a change by ousting Clarke despite the fact he guided the West Midlands club to eighth place last year which was their best finish in three decades.

Clarke released a statement through to the League Managers' Association which revealed his disappointment at the Albion decision.

"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," read the statement.

"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 to establishing our status in the Barclays Premier League.

"I was, and remain convinced that we were well placed to achieve this aim."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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