DRAINED... Youssouf Mulumbu left hurting after Norwich defeat
23:28 12th May 2013
Clarke hopes final-game United challenge will rejuvenate his troops
STEVE Clarke says facing champions Manchester United in the final game of the season is just what his flagging players need to rejuvenate them after today’s disappointing 4-0 defeat at Norwich.
Victory over the Red Devils would see the Baggies break through the 50-point barrier and secure eighth spot.
And Clarke has called for one last push from his troops, who can now finish a record-breaking campaign no lower than ninth place.
“Sometimes when you have a terrible performance the best thing to do is play the champions," he said.
“I think next week the performance will be better.
“At this stage of the season for Norwich that was their defining game and the one they looked at and thought, if they could get a win, they would be safe in the league.
“Our boys have been battling it out all season.
“We put ourselves in a great position early on and the second half of the season has been less exciting, less good.
“It’s been poorer and slowly fizzling out for us.
“If I’m being honest, we need the summer to come.”
The Albion chief also believes he has learnt things about his squad following a tough run of three successive losses to Wigan, Manchester City and the Canaries.
“One of the reasons to make some changes and look at different people in different systems over the last few games was to see what we need to do over the summer,” added Clarke.
“I don’t think the amount of players or the number of players we need to bring in or move out is going to be any different.
“But it’s something I’ve had to look at and sometimes from defeat you learn more.
“I’ll take another look at this game and try to learn more for the summer.”