Cardiff 1 West Brom 0
The sacking of West Brom chief coach Steve Clarke leaves Shane Long’s future in doubt.
Albion were prepared to sell Long to Hull in September until Clarke insisted “there is not a possibility I will be selling Shane in January”. But without a chief coach, Director of football Richard Garlick and owner Jeremy Pearce may once again try and push through the sale of the Tipperary man as Long is no closer to signing a contract extension as his current one expires in the summer.
Four defeats in succession was too much for the board of directors to take as Peter Whittingham’s goal ensured Clarke was put on gardening leave hours after the 1-0 defeat at Cardiff.
“Last season wasn’t a fluke, we had the quality here,” said Long after the game. “We are still putting in the same amount of effort. The breaks are just not going our way. ”
If Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall had not pulled off an outstanding save from Long the day may have finished differently for Clarke.
“I can’t believe how he saved it,” said Long. “I headed it perfectly right inside the post. It was a wonder save and then there was the penalty shout as well.
“It is frustrating in football when things just don’t fall for you, let’s hope we can turn things round fairly quickly.”
Early favourites to succeed Clarke are Glenn Hoddle, Real Madrid coach Paul Clement, who did some Ireland U21 coaching with Don Givens, ex-Schalke manager Ralf Rangnick, Cardiff City boss Malky MacKay and a shock return for Roberto Di Matteo.
CARDIFF: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor, Medel (Gunnarsson 87), Odemwingie (Kim 90), Mutch, Whittingham, Noone, Campbell (Maynard 82).
WEST BROM: Myhill, Billy Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob (Sinclair 74), Amalfitano (Berahino 73), Sessegnon, Brunt, Long (Vydra 88).
Referee: Howard Webb .
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