Steve Clarke wants Aston Villa to survive

West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke during the match against Stoke City on December 1, 2012
© PA Photos
West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke reveals that he would be disappointed if rivals Aston Villa were relegated.

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has conceded that he would like his side's Midlands rivals Aston Villa to retain their status as a Premier League club this season.

With three matches left to play, Paul Lambert's Villa are five points above the drop zone.

However, rather than want to see their neighbours relegated, Clarke has insisted that it would be better for the local area if Villa survived.

"I would like to see the Midlands stronger. It's important that you have good competition from the clubs around you," the Scot told West Brom's official website. "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."

Clarke's team are currently eighth with four matches remaining.

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