Steve Clarke has been appointed as the new manager of Reading, and can see real potential in the squad he has inherited.
Having lost seven of their last 11 games, the Royals took the decision to sack Nigel Adkins on Monday afternoon. The last of these defeats was the most damaging of all, as Birmingham City inflicted an embarrassing 6-1 defeat on the Berkshire club on Saturday afternoon at St Andrews, a result which left the Madejski Stadium outfit 16th in the table and 10 points adrift of a playoff spot.
Clarke, who had been out of work since being controversially sacked by West Bromwich Albion last December, was immediately installed as the favourite to succeed Adkins. And Reading have now confirmed the 51-year-old Scot has signed a two-and-a-half year deal, during which time he is confident of delivering some exciting times to the club and its supporters.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Reading Football Club and I look forward to helping the club move in the right direction,” Clarke is quoted by Sky Sports. “A big part of the work ahead is on the training ground and I look forward to meeting the players and getting onto the grass with them. There is real potential here and hopefully exciting times ahead for the supporters.”
Clarke earned a reputation as one of the best young coaches in England during his assistant roles under Ruud Gullit at Newcastle United, Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Gianfranco Zola at West Ham United, and Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool. And although he only lasted 18 months at the Hawthorns, Royals co-chairman Sir John Madejski is delighted with the appointment.
“I would like to wholeheartedly welcome Steve to Reading Football Club and wish him every success here,” he said. “He comes with a CV of the very highest order and I look forward to moving back up the table with him in charge. It has been a difficult period for all concerned, but now we look forward to a new era under Steve’s stewardship and I for one am excited about this new beginning.”
Is Clarke a good appointment for Reading, or did Adkins deserve more time? Let us know what you think by joining in the discussion below.