West Brom boss Clarke keen for Villa to avoid drop

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke hopes local rivals Aston Villa survive relegation as he believes it will make Midland clubs stronger.

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke hopes local rivals Aston Villa survive relegation as he believes it will make Midland clubs stronger.

"I would like to see the Midlands stronger," Clarke told wba.co.uk.

"It's important that you have good competition from the clubs around you.

"If you have that competition it's healthy around the area. It's better for the Midlands that they have more successful teams.

"I would miss Villa. It's important that they finish the season strongly. It's important to have your rivals breathing down your neck.

"You see how much it means to the supporters - they want to be the top dogs.

"But you want to be the top dogs because you've beaten your nearest rivals or you've finished higher than them in the same league - that's important."

Have your say