The Baggies centre-back received a cut to his head after Kolarov went in high with his boot during Tuesday’s match at Etihad Stadium that was won by City 1-0.

Kolarov was booked for the challenge but Clarke has refused to vilify the City defender before he looks at replays of the incident.

"I haven't seen it and that's honest, I'm not sitting on the fence," the West Brom boss told reporters.

"My impression at the time was [Aleksandar] Kolarov was high but Gabby [Tamas] also stooped his head a little bit.

"He's got a nasty cut on the back of his head.

"I wouldn't be sitting here shouting it should have been a red card without seeing it again."

With his side already enjoying a record-breaking season, having matched their best-ever Premier League points haul, Clarke switched to a 3-5-2 formation at the Etihad Stadium.

The Scot admitted he had been considering making the change for some time and saw Tuesday night’s match as the perfect opportunity, believing his players adapted well to the new system.

"The change of system and formation is something that's been in my head for a number of weeks, just waiting on the right opportunity to try it," Clarke continued.

"I've got to say although we didn't have too much time to prepare for the game, I thought the way the players applied themselves in the different shape was excellent. We played well tonight. We were unlucky not to get something."