Steve Clarke admits he would welcome the opportunity to discuss the vacant managerial position at Fulham.
The Cottagers are currently going through one of the most difficult periods in their recent history, which was sparked by their decision to sack Martin Jol in December of last year. The Dutchman was replaced by former Manchester United assistant Rene Meulensteen, but he lasted a little more than two months before he too was issued with his P45.
Next in the hotseat was the experienced Felix Magath, but he was unable to prevent the capital club losing their Premier League status. Despite this, he was given the opportunity to build again in the Championship this season, but a disastrous start to the campaign – they are still looking for a first victory – resulted in his removal earlier this month.
As Fulham continue their search for a new manager a number of names have been linked with the post, with oddschecker.com placing former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton, current caretaker boss Kit Symons, and ex-Celtic coach Neil Lennon as the frontrunners for the position. However, Clarke, who was dismissed by West Bromwich Albion last season, has told talkSPORT that he would be interested in seeing what was on offer at Craven Cottage.
“You have to sit down with people, you have to discuss their plans for the club,” he told Colin Murray. “You have to tell them what your plans are, and from there you make a decision. I like to sit down with people face to face. First of all they have to want me. They have to come to me. Everybody knows I’m available. I don’t think there is a club in the country I would say no to. I would speak to them all and find out whether we are right for each other.”
Clarke, who worked alongside Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, has built up a reputation as one of the best coaches in the country. The 51-year-old was close to landing the Crystal Palace job earlier this season until Neil Warnock was appointed for a second time, although he still believes he should be in charge of the Baggies.
“I know I was moved on before my time because the crowd didn’t have the chance to get on my back and give me stick. When that happens you know you have maybe gone a little bit early,” he added. “I didn’t feel as though we had built the squad properly in the summer, then we got a few players right on the deadline day, then we had a really good spell when we picked up some good points and played well. Then in the space of two weeks we lost four matches with no warning or nothing from above to say ‘Look, you’ve got a couple of games to turn in around Steve’, suddenly I was out of the door, it was quite a strange feeling.”
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