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Clarke hoping to avoid QPR 'spark'


07:05 5th October 2012

But boss sure former team-mate Hughes will turn Rangers' fortunes

STEVE Clarke believes his former Chelsea team-mate Mark Hughes will turn things around at QPR – but hopes his change in fortunes does not start tomorrow (ko 3pm).

The R's, who made 12 summer signings, sit bottom of the Barclays Premier League on two points after six games.

In contrast, the Baggies are flying high in sixth spot and will be gunning to record four successive home wins from the start of a top-flight season for the first time since 1919/20 when they won the league.

But Clarke, who played alongside 'Sparky' at Stamford Bridge for three years, expects the visitors to arrive at The Hawthorns like a dangerous wounded animal after Monday’s 2-1 derby defeat at home to West Ham.

“You go to a club, they invest in a number of players, sometimes it gels quickly, other times it takes a little bit longer,” said the Baggies boss.

“That is the case with QPR.

“They've got some really good players. It hasn't quite clicked for them.

“It is up to us to make sure tomorrow it doesn't click for them and they are still struggling going into the international break - that is our job.

“This is a tricky game.

“They need to turn their season around and we need to make sure we are 100 per cent at it.

“I bumped into Mark a couple of weeks ago at one of the games and we keep in touch.

“It is a difficult situation for him.

“He has got far more experience than me in terms of being a manager.

“I'm sure he has been in this position a couple of times before with Blackburn and he will know what to do, and he will know how to get his team out of it.

“Mark’s an experienced campaigner.

“But I’m not really sure what he’s like as a manager and whether he is a ranter and raver or not.

“Off the pitch he is mild-mannered and calm.

“He’s like a split personality – when he was on the pitch as a player he was really aggressive but off the pitch he was different.

“I’ve never worked with him as a manager.”


PIC: GLORY DAYS...Clarke celebrates Hughes' 1998 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final winner for Chelsea against Vicenza

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