Article

Clarke keen for Villa to avoid relegation

1 May 2013 14:30

West Brom boss Steve Clarke has revealed that he would like rivals Aston Villa to avoid relegation.

Paul Lambert's men sit five points above the relegation zone but are yet to ensure their safety, with Wigan boasting a game in hand on the teams around them at the bottom.

But, with the Premier League having lost West Brom's Midlands rivals Birmingham and Wolves over the last two seasons, Clarke hopes to see Villa pull away from the drop zone.

"I would like to see the Midlands stronger," he told the club's official website. "It's important that you have good competition from the clubs around you.

"If you have that competition it's healthy around the area; it's better for the Midlands that they have more successful teams.

"I would miss Villa. It's important that they finish the season strongly. It's important to have your rivals breathing down your neck.

"You see how much it means to the supporters – they want to be the top dogs.

"But you want to be the top dogs because you've beaten your nearest rivals or you've finished higher than them in the same league - that's important."

West Brom can give Villa a hand in their battle against the drop when they take on Wigan at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

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