Steve Clarke ready to be ruthless as West Bromwich Albion boss

Steve Clarke is prepared to show a ruthless streak as the new head coach of West Bromwich Albion.

Clarke has made his name as a number two, a role he fulfilled at Newcastle United, Chelsea, West Ham United and his most recent club Liverpool.

But he admitted: "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. I'll also have to be a bit more ruthless. I'm looking to break the 50-point barrier," he told BBC Sport.

Clarke, who succeeds England manager Roy Hodgson at The Hawthorns, knows he has a hard act to follow.

But, having worked under household names like Ruud Gullit, Jose Mourinho, Gianfranco Zola and Kenny Dalglish, he is at last the man who picks the team.

"When you're the assistant, you can be nice to almost everybody," he said.

"But, as a head coach, 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.

"That's something I'll have to deal with - but it's something I'm comfortable with and ready for."

Clarke actually hoped that his chance might have come sooner, having left Chelsea, soon after Luiz Felipe Scolari's appointment, to join Zola at West Ham in September 2008.

But he admits: "Circumstances dictate as and when you get chance to move up.

"When I left Chelsea, it was my ambition to be a manager or be a head coach.

"I hoped this position and appointment would have come a little bit sooner."

Clarke's first game in charge of Albion will be on 18 August against Liverpool, who terminated his contract following Kenny Dalglish's sacking in May.

"I don't often get excited," grinned Clarke. "But I got excited hearing that.

"I was disappointed by what happened to Kenny. For him to go the way he did was not very nice. After all, it was his club.

"But I've nothing but good memories of my time at Liverpool."

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