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  1. ITV Report

Steve Clarke prepares for Bolton clash following Fulham meeting

Steve Clarke insists his decision to remain at Reading instead of taking the Fulham job was down to "ambition and professionalism" and not money.

The Reading boss asked to speak to Fulham about their managerial vacancy and on Thursday was thought to be on the verge of replacing Kit Symons, who left Craven Cottage during this month's international break.

However, Clarke opted against the move and the 52-year-old believes his interests are better served at the Madejski Stadium.

"When I sat down and weighed it up, Reading was by far the best option. All I wanted was the chance to speak to another club and weigh up what is best for me. In my mind I was always closer to Reading than Fulham.

"But you have to go and find out what their plans are and what they are thinking. Could they offer something better? And the answer was no.

"It wasn't about money - it was about ambition and professionalism. I didn't want to think what if. What I have here is more mind blowing. I'm happy with what I have here. This was the best option by a mile - to stay here.

"I'm here for the rest of my contract - I hope. It's been a strange week but I know I made the right decision."

– Steve Clarke, Reading FC Manager
Steve Clarke has decided to stay at Reading after talks with Fulham Credit: ITV News

Clarke will be back in the dugout at the Madejski Stadium for the visit of Bolton this afternoon and he knows he now has some hurdles to overcome with the club's supporters, and the board.

"I understand the angst and anger among supporters but when someone is prepared to pay money to speak to me, it's something as a professional I have to look at.

"The supporters are the most loyal people at the football club. I can understand the ones that were really angry.

"I've had a chat with the board. I'm not going to say everything is fine - it isn't, they are a bit disappointed.

"But I believe I still have support 100% and now I want to get back to success on the pitch."

– Steve Clarke, Reading FC Manager

Clarke took over at Reading 11 months ago and last season secured their Championship status while also leading the club to a first FA Cup semi-final for 88 years.

The Royals are currently eighth in the table, four places and as many points above Fulham, and only four points off the play-off positions.