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Lee Clark: Transfers failed Fulham; Sarri mustn't waver; Man Utd can end Pogba talk

From the outside looking in, I'd have to say that Fulham's relegation must be put down to one thing: recruitment. It's alright spending the money but it's about spending it on the right players and characters. I say characters strongly because I think that's just as crucial as the quality of the player. What they never did was what Wolves did, in that, they had a strong core of players that brought them up from the Championship and added to that with real quality. They have a good mixture of players who were experienced playing for the club in England and also brought in a few of those class players.

Fulham spent a lot of money on players who had high profiles and big reputations, and ultimately those players haven't delivered. A lot of the players who did a terrific job and played superb football under Slavisa Jokanovic to get them out of the Championship weren't given an opportunity to start the season alongside some of those new signings.

So I think the balance in the group wasn't right at the start of the season. And in the Premier League when you get on a bad run of results, it's very difficult to get out of it because it's such a challenging league and environment to be involved in, it's hard to pick up the baton once you've had a tough run.

I felt for Jokanovic as well. I know they hadn't won a lot of games before he was sacked, and the quality of the fighting spirit was being questioned, and I was one of them questioning it when I saw some of the games, but i just felt the way he had the team playing with the quality of football getting them out of the Championship that I would've loved to have seen him been given a little bit longer.

Big summer for Huddersfield and Fulham

I hope Huddersfield can return to the Premier League, for the fans, but for the owner Dean Hoyle especially. He has taken that club from nothing to a Premier League club.

They fought hard this season and it's difficult when you first come up and when you're not in London to attract the players, and obviously this was their first time in the big show for many years. You have to slowly build your squad and club to try and stay in the Premiership and become a consistent club, which then allows you to attract the bigger and better players, and unfortunately this season has been very tough for them.

I think there needs to be a major overhaul at Huddersfield this summer because the Championship is completely different from the top-flight. It's full on, 46 games a year and you are involved in two cup competitions. It's ferocious and not something that is an easy one to get out of. A lot of changes need to be made at both Huddersfield and Fulham, but I'm sure, knowing the people behind the scenes, that those things will happen.

Sarri must stay strong

Results will dictate whether Maurizio Sarri remains disliked by Chelsea supporters. At least if Callum Hudson-Odoi keeps getting games from now on, it will show that the Italian is flexible.

But as a manager you've got have your beliefs you've got to have your philosophies and I think if you waver from that and it shows, players start to question whether you've got the strength and the ability to see it through. You've got to find a way of playing where you can adapt to the players that you have until you can get the squad that can implement your ideas.

However, history shows that managers don't get the time to do that at Chelsea, given others have won trophies and still been shown the door.

Trophies will stop Pogba speculation

At these international press conferences you do get general questions about clubs, and certainly when you're talking about the top top players, which Paul Pogba is in that category, then you get asked where he sees his future plans. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come out and said that Pogba didn't say that he wanted to swap Manchester United for Real Madrid. And as a manager you've got to be relaxed about these sort of things.

Ultimately if you've got a world-class player on your hands and he is always going to be linked with other huge clubs. If you don't enjoy that then you are probably not right working with these top players, it's just going to be the case. I think the top managers just chill out with the speculation. If you are already at a big club and you start winning trophies on a regular basis, then you'll more than likely keep players of Pogba's caliber.

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Lee Clark
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Lee Clark

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