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Darrell Clarke dismisses link with Norwich City vacancy as he focuses on more success with Bristol Rovers

PUBLISHED: 12:45 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:17 30 March 2017

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has been discussing his future after being linked with Norwich City. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke has been discussing his future after being linked with Norwich City. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

PA Wire

Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke has distanced himself from speculation linking him with a move to Norwich City.

The 39-year-old was linked with the Canaries by The Sun last week but emphasised his loyalty to Rovers when asked about the speculation by the Bristol Post.

“It doesn’t come into the equation and it doesn’t stop my focus on winning the next game,” said Clarke, who has been in charge at the Memorial Stadium for three years.

The Gas are chasing a play-off place in League One after Clarke led them to successive promotions from the National League and straight through League Two.

The former Mansfield and Hartlepool midfielder didn’t categorically rule himself out of a move to Norwich but emphasised he feels a great deal of loyalty to the Rovers hierarchy.

“I am a loyal person, and in that way I am very loyal to the owners who have supported me and the fans who have supported me,” he continued.

Clarke has already shown that loyalty once, when he turned down Leeds United last summer, after achieving automatic promotion from League Two.

“If I wanted personal gain I would have signed for Leeds in the summer with a massive pay rise,” Clarke said. “But that’s not how I work.”

The Canaries are moving closer to appointing Stuart Webber as sporting director as part of the club’s new managerial structure, after Huddersfield confirmed they had placed the 33-year-old on ‘garden leave’ after he made it clear he wants to leave the Terriers.

That would leave appointing a new head coach as the final piece of the jigsaw at Carrow Road, following the dismissal of Alex Neil as manager earlier this month.

“I want to continue here and keep working hard to get Rovers up the ladder even more. Everything about this club in the last three years has improved with a shadow of a doubt,” said Clarke, who also achieved two promotion in two years in non-league with Salisbury before switching to the Pirates.

“That’s because I’ve been driving it and we’ve been driving it, the staff have been driving things forward to lose the ‘rag-arse’ Rovers tag that people associated with us previously.”

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