WEST Brom boss Steve Clarke has hailed the impact of Newcastle legend Bobby Robson on his coaching career ahead of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash at St James’s Park.
Clarke ended his playing career at Chelsea before joining the Magpies as number two to Ruud Gullit and then working under his replacement Robson.
It offered invaluable experience to Clarke who has steered the Baggies into the top six in what is his first senior role. He said: “I was lucky to work with Bobby for a year and I took a lot from the way he dealt with and managed the players.
“He was great to me because he knew I was a young coach who wanted to learn and he sat me in on some of the meetings when he was one-to-one with a player.
“He would have me there to watch and observe and see how he spoke to and dealt with players and that was absolutely invaluable for me.
“It was just his manner and his way of getting the best out of players. As a manager there is not one way to get the best out of a number of different people.
“There are a number of different ways to get the best and Bobby seemed to have the gift of being able to recognise and understand what sort of motivational tool he had to use at that time.”
Clarke is full of praise for current Newcastle boss Alan Pardew and the team he has assembled.
He said: “I thought they were fantastic last season.
“I would say it is the best team since that Sir Bobby team that did really well.
“They came out of that into a period that was a little more rocky and now they’re trying to get that stability back.
“If you can get stability at any club then it makes it easier for the people who are trying to make it successful.”