06:00 6th May 2013
And boss reveals thoughts on striker's Hawthorns future
STEVE Clarke admitted the Hawthorns hordes getting to see the best of Markus Rosenberg was a huge positive from Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Wigan.
The Sweden international was handed only his third Barclays Premier League start since his summer arrival in the Black Country.
His chances to play have been limited by the outstanding form of 14-goal Romelu Lukaku and 11-goal Shane Long.
And the Baggies boss was delighted with Rosenberg’s performance against the Latics - which included an assist for Long’s opener – before being substituted in the 65th to avoid picking up an injury through tiredness ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Manchester City (ko 7.45pm).
“I have said almost from the start of the season that Markus is a very talented player,” insisted Clarke.
“He’s been a vital member of my squad and he hasn’t had the minutes on the pitch that maybe he has deserved.
“A lot of that is down to the fact that Lukaku and Long have had great seasons.
“Markus is a striker who likes to play in a central role and the other two got in front of him and didn’t really give him a sniff to get in.
“He’s been feeding on scraps with the minutes on the pitch that I’ve given him and I said a couple of weeks ago that he can’t blame himself because he has worked hard in training and always been really good and professional within the group.
“The only person he can be critical of is me because I didn’t give him enough minutes on the pitch.
“We could see on Saturday that his quality was there.
“I was pleased for him and I was really pleased that the crowd gave him such a good reaction when I took him off.
“I only took him off because I was conscious of the fact it was his first game for a long time and I didn’t want to risk an injury to him because I’ve got enough injuries and problems with the size of my squad at the moment.”
The Albion chief also revealed his thoughts on the future of Bosman signing Rosenberg, who penned a three-year Baggies deal last August.
“He has waited patiently for his chance and he showed on Saturday that he’s got the qualities and the determination to show everybody he is still a good player,” added Clarke.
“I don’t think the fact Markus hasn’t played for us a lot this year is going to have a great bearing on what we decide to do with him this summer.
“We will sit down at the end of the season and have a chat.
“Markus will tell me what he thinks honestly, I’ll tell him what I think honestly and then we’ll try to move forward.”