Clark's anxiety leads to City speculation: Football

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The Independent Online
Frank Clark yesterday admitted that his frustration with Nottingham Forest's boardroom crisis has reached breaking point. However, the 53-year-old manager would not verify reports that he is ready to resign.

Speculation has suggested that Manchester City, who are without a manager, are ready to make an offer to Clark if he walks out of the City Ground, perhaps after tomorrow's game against Liverpool.

Clark, anchored toward the bottom of the Premiership with Forest, said: "I can't be held responsible for speculation. But it is a fact that it's a very frustrating time working in limbo.

"There's a lot of things happening behind the scenes and it is a very difficult situation in which to manage. All I'm concerned about is preparing the players in the best possible way for a difficult match against Liverpool."

Clark, talked of as an England contender when Terry Venables announced his departure less than a year ago, has felt increasingly helpless as Forest drift to disaster.

Rows continue over the merits of two rival consortiums bidding for a pounds 30m takeover of the club. In the meantime, Clark has no money to bolster a side that has slumped disastrously this season. They are without a win since the opening day at Coventry, with seven draws and eight defeats leaving them joint bottom.

Clark is increasingly concerned that whoever wins the power battle may not retain him in overall charge with talk rife that the England full- back Stuart Pearce could step up as player-manager.

It has all gone spectacularly wrong for Clark, who appeared fire-proof less than 12 months ago. His experience, tactical command and ability to regenerate sides made him a respected dark horse in an England race eventually won by Glenn Hoddle.

Francis Lee may be tempted to switch Manchester City's sights from the former Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson after admiring the way that Clark initially repaired Forest the decline of Brian Clough's final season.