MX23RW : Monday, July 23 00:23:26

Steve Clarke: 'I've got unfinished business at West Bromwich Albion'

Steve Clarke speaks out for the first time since being sacked as West Bromwich Albion boss, saying that he has "unfinished business" at The Hawthorns.

Steve Clarke has spoken out for the first time since he was sacked as West Bromwich Albion head coach last night after a defeat at Cardiff City.

The Scottish coach released a statement via the League Managers Association's official website this evening that said he felt he has "unfinished business" at The Hawthorns.

"I believe I have unfinished business at West Bromwich Albion Football Club so it is with deep regret that I was relieved of duties as head coach last night," read the statement. "I could not have been better prepared for my first job in management after over 14 years coaching experience learning from some of the great managers in the modern era.

"It was certainly a challenge to succeed Roy Hodgson, having been appointed England manager, after he successfully guided the club to a 10th place finish in 2011-12, after only securing their Barclays Premier League status the year before. 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.

"Going into this season expectations were high, perhaps unrealistically so, but 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. It has been an honour to manage this club and I would like to thank the staff who have assisted me in every possible way as well as the fans who have been tremendous throughout. Now, I wish everyone connected with the club the very best for the future."

Roberto Di Matteo is the early favourite to replace Clarke.

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Then Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo on the touchline on November 20, 2012
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