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Jun 18, 2012

Clarke 'excited' to face Liverpool

Former Liverpool first-team coach Steve Clarke has confessed he was "disappointed" to lose his job at Anfield, revealing it was "not nice" to see manager Kenny Dalglish forced out of the club.

Clarke held his first press conference as West Brom boss on Monday, just hours after the new Premier League fixtures were released. The Baggies drew Liverpool on the opening weekend, meaning Clarke gets an instant reunion with the players he coached last season.

"I was delighted, I've got nothing but good memories from my time at Liverpool, so to have them for my first game at the Hawthorns will be fantastic," Clarke said. "It takes a lot to get me really excited, but this morning I woke up excited."

Clarke was widely credited as the man responsible for organising Liverpool's defence last season, a defence that was only bettered by the Manchester clubs over 38 games. However, when the Liverpool owners opted to part company with Dalglish, Clarke also made way for the new Brendan Rodgers regime.

Asked if he felt wronged in any way by the club, Clarke stopped short of answering in the affirmative, but he did hint that loyalty simply does not exist in modern-day football.

"Losing my job at Liverpool over the summer was disappointing," Clarke said. "Football has changed, success has to be instant and it has to be on a level expected at whatever club you're at.

"If you look at Harry Redknapp at Tottenham, success can only be measured in the context of the club you're working for. Obviously it was disappointing. I was disappointed for Kenny, that's his club and for him to leave in that way was not nice for Kenny, so I felt for him.

"But the game's changed and you have to accept that if you don't meet the expectations of the people who run the club, you have to pay the price."

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