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West Brom plan deal talks with Steve Clarke

Sport | Published:

West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace is planning contract talks with head coach Steve Clarke after admitting "you cannot knock what he did."

Acclaim for Clarke leading the Baggies to the club's highest Premier League placing was tempered by the frustration of the fade-out over the second half of the season.

That is something Clarke and West Brom's team of support staff have been analysing. in an effort to remedy a fault which prevented the Baggies pushing for a place in European competition.

But the demanding owner-chairman still declares himself "relaxed" about Clarke's future even though the head coach is currently contracted only for next season.

Peace said: "He has done well. We had a great start and a very indifferent finish – apart from the last game which was something to behold.

"Everyone's pleased with how it's turned out and we have progressed on and finished eighth. Steve has another year left on his existing deal.

"We will sit down over the next few months and discuss where we go with that. His contract is well structured, he gets rewarded for improvement and where we finish in the league.

"He's been very good. You cannot knock what he did."

That hasn't stopped some bookies establishing Clarke among the front-runners in the annual "sack race" odds.

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That's a profile aggravated by the potential loss of key players this summer and the down-turn in results after January.

But Peace and sporting & technical director Richard Garlick are working with Clarke to try to prevent a repeat.

Garlick said: "There are things we are doing to avoid the January dip. Perhaps in the past we had players who weren't quite up to it, so we couldn't rotate."

And Peace rejected criticism that the club did not do enough in the January window to avert the problem.

He explained: "We spoke to Steve by asking 'What do you need in January? and he said 'I think we're OK and don't need to strengthen'."

Meanwhile, Premier League new-boys Cardiff are the latest club linked with West Brom's want-away striker Peter Odemwingie.

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