Boss Clarke ready to get tough
New West Brom head coach Steve Clarke accepts he will have to develop a more ruthless streak as he prepares for his first season taking charge of a team.
Having always been an assistant during a coaching career lasting over a decade, the 48-year-old Scot now has full responsibility for his own decisions. He knows that means he will have to adapt the approach which has served him well under spells with Jose Mourinho, the late Sir Bobby Robson and, most recently, Kenny Dalglish.
"I think I will need to be a bit more selfish now I'm a head coach - I'll have to be very clear with my ideas," said Clarke, whose first competitive match in charge will be at home to his previous employers Liverpool. "I will also have to be a bit more ruthless."
"He went on: "When you're the assistant, you can be nice to almost everybody. But as a head coach, even though you want to be nice to everybody, at the end of the day you can only pick 11 players plus seven substitutes.
"There is always going to be a number of players who are not particularly happy that they're not in the team for whatever reason. That's something I'll have to deal with - but it's something I'm comfortable with and ready for."
Clarke has already started laying plans for the transfer market and, while he is keen to hold on to players in the squad he inherited from Roy Hodgson he is looking to build where he can.
"I've been looking at the squad and deciding where we need to strengthen and what we need to do to improve," he told wba.co.uk. "It has been very productive. I've met a lot of good people that have made me feel welcome. It feels great to be here.
"This is a really well-established club. The board have also helped make me feel really at home. From the moment I got here, I knew this was the right club for me.
"One of the first things I did was have a meeting with all the scouts just to see which players the club have been looking at over the last six months to a year.
"I've got lots of reports to read through and lots of DVDs to watch. I've been spending a lot of time going through them. There have been some long days already but it's all part of the job."