West Brom expectations 'unrealistic' says Steve Clarke after run of bad form leads to dismissal

Clarke was dismissed after a year-and-a-half in the job and leaves the Baggies sitting in 16th place after a run of four straight defeats

Steve Clarke has suggested following his sacking by West Brom that expectations of what the club could achieve this season were unrealistically high going into the campaign.

Clarke lost his job as Albion head coach on Saturday following a 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Cardiff, the midlands outfit's fourth straight loss.

The 50-year-old Scot departed with the Baggies 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone and having won only seven of their 34 top-flight matches in 2013.

After his appointment as their boss in the summer of 2012, Clarke - in his first managerial role - guided Albion to their highest-ever Premier League finish of eighth last term.

And in a statement released on Sunday by the League Managers Association, Clarke said: "Going into this season expectations were high, perhaps unrealistically so.

"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."

Reflecting on his dismissal, Clarke said: "I believe I have unfinished business at West Brom so it is with deep regret that I was relieved of duties as head coach.

"It was certainly a challenge to succeed Roy Hodgson after he successfully guided the club to a 10th place finish in 2011/12.

"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."

"It has been an honour to manage this club."

Clarke's assistant Kevin Keen was placed on gardening leave by West Brom at the same time as him, and joint-assistant head coach Keith Downing will assume control of first-team affairs while the club search for a new permanent boss.

Giving his thoughts on the news of Clarke's dismissal, Albion defender Steven Reid told the BBC's Match of the Day 2 Extra: "There is a real sense of shock in the dressing room.

"To have such a disappointing 2013 - us as players have got to take responsibility for that.

"If the manager goes, you look at yourself and whether you could have done any more as a squad."

Roberto Di Matteo, who guided West Brom into the top flight in 2010 but was sacked in February 2011 and went on to win the FA Cup and Champions League during a stint in charge at Chelsea in 2012, is among those being mentioned as potential candidates to fill the vacancy.

Another is ex-Albion player Martin Jol, recently dismissed from his post as manager of Fulham.

PA

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star