WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — West Bromwich Albion moved to halt its slide down the English Premier League by firing coach Steve Clarke on Saturday, hours after the club slumped to a fourth straight loss.
Clarke lasted just 18 months in his first full-time managerial position, having previously been assistant coach at Chelsea — where he worked under Jose Mourinho in two straight league title-winning campaigns — West Ham and Liverpool.
Clarke guided West Brom to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League last season but Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Cardiff left the team just two points and two places above the bottom three. In 2013, West Brom has won seven of 34 games, picking up only 31 points in that period.
"This club's track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, having only enforced a change in this position three times in approximately 14 years," sporting and technical director Richard Garlick said in a statement.
"But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season."
Clarke is the fourth coach to lose his job in the Premier League this season, after Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland), Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace) and Martin Jol (Fulham). Clarke's assistant, Kevin Keen, was also removed.