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The former Baggies manager was sacked on Saturday following a fourth consecutive defeat, and the Tigers boss is unsure how the team will react in his absence

Steve Bruce is wary of the impact Steve Clarke's departure will have on West Brom when his Hull City travel to the Hawthorns on Saturday.

Clarke was relieved of his duties on Saturday following a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff, the Baggies' fourth in a row, which saw the team drop to 16th - just two points off the drop zone.

"Steve Clarke took West Brom to eighth last year, a sign that he is a very good manager," he told reporters. "He has a few bad results and suddenly it is him that pays for it, not anybody else.

"I feel for Steve because he has had some awful decisions go against him. I remember he was winning at Chelsea a few weeks ago and had an awful penalty given against them, then they were 2-0 up at Aston Villa and he's had some bad decisions go against them."

"Sometimes a different voice on the training ground has a response from the players, maybe they will get together and say 'it was harsh on the manager, let's put in a performance for him'.

"We played Crystal Palace when Tony Pulis was just in situ and they came up here and turned us over. Whether it is a negative or positive response we will have to wait and see but we know West Brom have got some very, very good players."

Bruce has also bemoaned the troublesome groin injury that will prevent Robbie Brady from facing West Brom on Saturday.

Brady is Hull's top scorer with four goals in all competitions, but his season has been disrupted by a hernia operation in October.

"Robbie still isn't right," Bruce admitted. "It's something we're going to have to explore more deeply because it's grumbling along. He came on last weekend and was still complaining about it and it is a worry for us.

"We do need our big players to be playing and certainly Robbie can give us something going forward. It's a complex one. He had an operation on it and he's not really recovered from that.

"We now need to go down a different route, explore it and make sure he's right."

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