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West Brom plan talks on filling Ashworth void

Sport | Published:

Steve Clarke is planning talks with chairman Jeremy Peace to discuss Albion's new sporting director after admitting Dan Ashworth will leave a "big hole to fill".

The Baggies head coach is keen to offer his views to chairman Peace on the hunt for Ashworth's successor, after the 41-year-old was chosen by the FA as their new director of elite development.

Ashworth is currently set to leave next summer and Clarke has mixed feelings on the news.

He said: "I'm delighted for Dan. It's a great honour for him to be approached by the FA and asked to do that job.

"But, from a club point of view and a selfish point of view, it will be a big hole for the club to fill.

"They have already started looking at candidates and we will work on that and try to do as good a job as we can and replace Dan as well as we can.

"I haven't sat down yet with the chairman, so I will find some time to do that and discuss it with him.

"We have a busy spell of games coming up and there is no immediate rush for it, because the move won't be immediate.

"But I would like to sit down with Dan and the chairman and discuss the way forward.

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"The FA want him in position as soon as they can and Dan has to help the club make the transition from his era to a new era.

"We will work together to make sure it's as smooth as possible."

Clarke is the fourth Albion boss to work alongside Ashworth and he believes the 41-year-old's personality has helped make him successful in the previously controversial sporting director's role.

Clarke said: "It is down to honesty. He tells me everything he's doing, he tells me all I need to know and he's very open and honest.

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"We have open discussions and that's the best way to make it work.

"He has his area of expertise and the club employ a head coach, who has his area of expertise.

"The two should work side by side. In the short space of time I have worked with Dan, that has been the case."

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