Clarke moves up to the frontline as latest Albion appointment


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Steve Clarke will take his first full managerial job today if he is confirmed as Roy Hodgson's replacement at West Bromwich Albion. Clarke has held various coaching roles, most recently at Liverpool, and after leaving Anfield this week he appears set to take over at the Hawthorns.

West Bromwich have been searching for a new manager, their third in three years, ever since Hodgson was appointed as England manager last month. The German coach Ralf Rangnick had been favourite but Clarke is now thought to be close to the job.

Clarke left Liverpool where he had been first-team coach under Kenny Dalglish, but the Scot's replacement as manager, Brendan Rodgers, brought with him his Swansea City assistant Colin Pascoe.

Liverpool was Clarke's fourth club as a coach. He started at Newcastle as Ruud Gullit's assistant in 1999, soon after retiring from playing, but is best known for his work under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. Himself a former Chelsea player, and then youth-team coach, Clarke's time with Mourinho was successful: Chelsea won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup in his four seasons there.

Clarke then went on to be assistant to his former Chelsea team-mate Gianfranco Zola at West Ham United for two seasons, before joining Liverpool with Dalglish in January 2011 for the latter's17-month spell back at Anfield.

Meanwhile Chris Hughton was unveiled as Norwich City manager yesterday, replacing Paul Lambert. The former Birmingham City manager was clear that he wanted to continue Lambert's engaging playing style. "I have been very much brought up to enjoy a good passing game – but also what I have learned is that you have got to adapt.

"Ultimately it is about winning games and you can only win games by scoring goals – there has been a wonderful philosophy at this club over the past few years of good, attacking football and I think it is wonderful for the supporters to see." Hughton said that he hoped to keep striker Grant Holt.

* The former Sporting Gijon coach Manuel Preciado died of a heart attack yesterday morning, just 24 hours after agreeing a deal to take over at Villarreal. The Spaniard was 54.