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Thursday 17 August 2017

Clark pays price at Birmingham for dismal home form

FIRST-TEAM coach Richard Beale and chief scout Malcolm Crosby will take charge of Birmingham at Blackburn after Blues parted company with Lee Clark.

The former Huddersfield boss paid the price for their dismal home form of just one league win in over a year.

Birmingham will drop into the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone if they fail to win at Ewood Park tonight and third-bottom Fulham beat Rotherham.

Clark left yesterday afternoon despite insisting earlier in the morning he would not quit St Andrew's.

"I'm definitely not walking away, no chance," he said before his exit. "This is a big club, I love working for it and I am proud to be the manager.

TOUGH

"There have been a lot of tough days and I haven't put up with that for over two years just to walk away.

"I'm not after a kiss and a cuddle - maybe from the Mrs - and supporters are within their rights to boo but it's easy to boo when you lose."

At the top Watford are aiming to extend their lead when they host promotion rivals Nottingham Forest.

The Hornets are a point clear despite the managerial merry-go-round at Vicarage Road this season. Slavisa Jokanovic - Watford's fourth head coach of the season - started with a 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday to power into top spot.

But striker Odion Ighalo insisted the players are not bothered about who is in the Hornets' hot seat.

"We don't really care about who the manager is because we have a good squad - all 25 players," he said. "We have depth and it's the team that keeps going. Any manager who comes here should do well because the team is so good. Slavisa is very calm, he's very technical and he's very dedicated to his work."

Watford leapfrogged Forest after Stuart Pearce's side lost 2-1 at Cardiff - their first defeat of the season. And Pearce urged his men to show their fight after Saturday's set back.

"Even when we were winning game after game I said we should be judged at the end of the season. That will be exactly the same.

"We have a big game and the players have to show me they're prepared to roll their sleeves up and come out fighting."

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