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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hughton's focus solely on future at Canaries

NEW Norwich manager Chris Hughton insists he does not have unfinished business in the Premier League after his brief stint as manager of Newcastle ended acrimoniously 18 months ago.

The 53-year-old, who left Birmingham to sign a three-year contract at Carrow Road, led the Magpies back to the top flight at the first time of asking before being sacked in December 2010.

He has now been handed a second crack at the Premier League, and is focusing solely on the Canaries rather than worrying about the past.

"You can only look back on what you have achieved and it's part and parcel of the game -- you have to move on from it," he said. "I have good, fond memories of Newcastle rather than any other ones.

"I had some messages from Newcastle congratulating me on what was happening and we all move on. That's the best way to look at it."

Hughton takes charge of the club with captain Grant Holt having made it clear on numerous occasions that he wishes to move on, but the new boss is hopeful of keeping hold of the 31-year-old.

"He is a quality player -- no doubt about that," he said of Holt, who netted 17 goals in the 2011/12 campaign.

"With his record -- to score the goals he did last season -- there wouldn't be any manager coming in who wouldn't want to keep a player of that quality. I've only just come through the door a few minutes ago so I have not had the opportunity to speak with him, but that will be one of the priorities."

Whether Hughton can convince Holt to stay or not, he will set about improving the current squad ahead of the new term.

He said: "We have had conversations (about transfers and budget). There will be a budget to work on bringing players in but that's not the most important thing."

Clarke favourite to be named Baggies boss

West Brom are preparing to unveil Steve Clarke as their new manager following positive talks with the former Liverpool number two.

Clarke is poised for his first senior managerial role with Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace convinced the 48-year-old has the right qualities to replace new England head coach Roy Hodgson.

Norwich-bound Chris Hughton, who was interviewed initially for the post before Hodgson was appointed, and former Schalke 04 boss Ralf Rangnick were also in contention to take over from Hodgson.

But Clarke is the red-hot favourite to succeed Hodgson, who enjoyed 15 successful months at Albion before the call came to succeed Fabio Capello.

Clarke is set to return to work only a couple of days after finalising the terms of the end of his spell at Liverpool with Kenny Dalglish.

Clarke has gained plenty of experience working as number two at Newcastle, Chelsea, West Ham and most recently at Anfield under Dalglish.

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