PAUL Clement has a burning desire to make his mark as a manager with Reading FC – and cast off his image as a successful number two.

The 46-year-old was a highly-regarded assistant after working at some of the biggest clubs in world football including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

But he is yet to complete a full season as first-team boss following brief spells with Swansea City and Derby County.

Questions were asked about Clement’s future this week when he was linked with a reunion with Carlo Ancelotti for a fifth time as a coach at Napoli.

But Royals’ boss, who replaced Jaap Stam in March, insists he has a ‘big determination and drive’ to enhance his reputation as a manager by reviving the club’s fortunes over a complete season and beyond.

Clement launched his coaching career at Chelsea where he won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Ancelotti, having previously served under Guus Hiddink, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

He followed Ancelotti to PSG and won the League 1 title in 2012 and then joined the Italian at Real Madrid where they landed the Champions League, Copa del Rey, Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Clement then went into management at Derby County in 2015 but was harshly sacked that December despite losing just one in 19 games and with Rams fifth in the Championship table.

He became Ancelotti’s assistant again in June 2016 at Bayern Munich but left six months later to become boss of relegation-threatened Swansea City where he successfully kept the club in the Premier League.

But the axe fell on Clement in December 2017 after a poor start to the campaign and he was snapped up by Reading as Stam’s successor in March.

Reading Chronicle:

Paul Clement, left, with former Chelsea boss, Carlo Ancelotti. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Clement picked up eight points in eight games including wins against QPR and Preston along with a 0-0 draw at promoted Cardiff City on the last day to guide Royals to Championship safety.

And he is now relishing the chance to lead Royals to success in his first full season as boss.

“I haven’t been a manager long – I’m still under 100 games,” stated Clement. “But I have been picking up a lot of experience and last season has been another great one for me.

“I had a job to do at Swansea City which was to keep them in the Premier League, which I managed to do by winning four of the last five games.

“I also managed to do it again here and keep Reading in the Championship.

“With Derby we went very close at the top end of the Championship and this is where I want to push Reading to.”

It is clear Clement’s exit from Swansea still rankles with the Reading manager.

But he is ready to put that behind him and take Royals to the next level.

“I had a disappointing experience at Swansea where I didn’t manage to kick them on,” he reflected. “We went through a period in the middle of last season where we picked up one point from six games, which can happen.

“But now I have a big determination and drive to show I can take a team forward over a full season.”

Reading Chronicle:

Paul Clement with Jose Mourinho after Swansea drew 1-1 at Manchester United to help avoid relegation in 2016/17. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Clement is facing a busy off-season as he rebuilds a Reading squad that finished 20th last season and only three points above the relegation zone.

Joseph Mendes and Stephen Quinn are set to depart when their contracts expire next month, with other likely to follow.

In the meantime Reading has been linked with Barnsley right’back, Andy Yiadom, West Ham defender, Reece Burke, Chelsea starlet, Mason Mount, and Derry City winger, Ronan Curtis.

“Yes, there will be some changes this summer which is normal,” he explained. And I think it’s required as well.

“There won’t be a massive overhaul because that can be dangerous, so we need to build step-by-step.

“But there will be some changes in the summer recruitment window.”

He added: “You never know what’s around the corner in football, you can never rest on your laurels. You have to work every day and every game to do the best you can.

“Obviously the team came very close when they were a penalty kick away from the Premier League. This season we were potentially one game away from dropping into League One.

“That’s not a good situation and we have to put that right over the summer.”

Paul Clement’s managerial record:

Derby County (June 2015-Feb 2016): P33 W14 D12 L7 (win % - 42.4).

Swansea City (Jan-Dec 2017): P41 W14 D5 L22 (win % - 34.1).

Reading (March 2018 – present): P8 W2 D2 L4 (win % - 25.0).