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After seeing his former assistant manager flourish in his first managerial role, the highly decorated head coach has described the Baggies boss as "incredible"

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on his former assistant and current West Brom boss Steve Clarke.

The former Chelsea No.2 has made a flying start to his managerial career at the Hawthorns, steering the Baggies up to fourth in the Premier League.

However, his start has not come as a surprise to his former mentor Mourinho, who feels Clarke was ready for a managerial position “a long time ago”.

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Speaking to reporters, Mourinho said: “Steve’s doing an amazing job and I’m the last to be surprised because I felt he was ready for that a long time ago. He’s an incredible coach.”

Clarke moved to West Ham shortly after Mourinho’s departure from Chelsea before moving to Liverpool to work under Kenny Dalglish.

But, when Dalglish parted company with the club, so did Clarke, only to be given the chance to manage West Brom - where he gained revenge by beating his former club 3-0 on the opening day of the season.

The 49-year-old’s assistant at the Hawthorns, Keith Downing, believes Liverpool’s decision to let Clarke go was a blessing in disguise.

Downing added: “He’s accepted the Liverpool decision but it worked out great for him as it gave him the opportunity to manage. He’s always wanted that.”

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