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Steve Clarke On McDermott, Zingarevich, And His 'Difficult' Time At Reading FC

Fom McDermott to Zingarevich, via Fulham, here's the full transcript of the former Royals' boss talking all things Reading on Sky Sports.

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The Thais, the Russians, the current manager. No one was safe when Steve Clarke went on Goals On Sunday on, err, Sunday.

Discussing everything from his Fulham near-miss to why the Royals dropped off after a promising start, the former Reading manager didn't hold back in typical fashion.

Firstly, when asked about the Fulham scenario, which saw the Scot allowed to talk to the Cottagers before snubbing the Royals' Championship rivals, the Scot remarked to host Ben Shepard on the 'confusing' saga.

"It was confusing from the inside."

"Not a lot [happened], really. At the time the [Reading] job had become quite difficult, the team was going through a bad patch.

"I got permission from Reading to speak to Fulham, who had approached Reading, spoke to Fulham and decided that I wanted to stay at Reading.

"That was the gist of it, nothing untoward, no big drama. I chose to stay at Reading and three games later they kicked me out the door.

"So, obviously if I could live that week again I would do things a bit differently. If I'd have known that Reading had it in their mind that they were going to get rid of me, that would be the one disappointment for me, when I spoke to Fulham and went back to Reading, they assured me they'd be happy for me to stay.

"Three games later I was out the door, and one of those games was a win. One was a defeat away from home, a difficult game at [Nottingham] Forest, the other a last minute loss at home to QPR and suddenly I was back on my holidays.

"It was a strange time. I'll learn from the experiences."

Following that exchange, Clarke spoke about how he got the job at Reading and how he considers Brian McDermott's second reign hardly an improvement from his own tenure.

"It was quite a difficult job, Reading. It came about very quickly. I was literally lying on the beach in the Caribbean, and it was like 'if you want the job it's yours but you have to be back in the country tomorrow', so I rushed back."

"I was out the game for a year and eager to get back in, I didn't really do enough due diligence on the actual club, I didn't have enough time, I had to make a spot of the moment decision.

"When I got in there it was quite a difficult situation, the club had frittered their money away under the Russian owner [Anton Zingaretwatvich) and the club had been sold to a Thai consortium which had enough money to buy the club but didn't have enough to put into the club, to develop it.

"[The Thais] wanted promotion to the Premier League. When you add all that together, it was quite a difficult job.

"We did a lot of work in the summer, brought in a lot of players, a lot of key players from the previous regime left for better offers elsewhere, so I think when you make so many changes you need time for that team to gel and come together.

"We had some good moments, you look at those teams at the top of the Championship now. Burnley, we beat. Middlesbrough, we beat. Brighton, we drew with. At that stage the team was good.

"We went off the boil a little bit when we lost three key players; Stephen Quinn, Aaron Tshibola and Hal Robson-Kanu at the same time. We lost a little bit of shape.

"That meant we had a tricky time, but we should've been given the time to manage the other side of it. Everything would have been ok.

"The team hasn't done fantastic since I left, it's not as if I wasn't getting the best out the team, because they haven't shot up the table.

"They've actually not picked up that many points since Brian took over, but I can understand for Brian that it's a difficult job because when you look above you - everyone says when you get a job you should manage upwards - and managing upwards at that club was quite difficult."

What are your thoughts on Clarke's comments? Sour grapes or the one true prophecy? Comment below.