07:00 12th June 2013
But 'hungry' boss reveals mixed feelings on 2012/13 season
STEVE Clarke says he sees no need for a ‘radical’ overhaul of his squad this summer as he focuses on the difficult task of improving on a record-breaking campaign.
More than three weeks on from a thrilling finale against champions Manchester United the Hawthorns boss has had time to reflect - and admits he has mixed feelings about last season.
But he is in no doubt he has a strong core of players at his disposal who are proven in the Barclays Premier League after three successive top-eleven finishes.
“I think my ideas on the squad are similar now to how they were as the season progressed,” said Clarke.
“I don’t think we need radical reshaping of the squad.
“It’s a squad that has finished in the top 11 of the Premier League for the last three seasons.
“There are three or four players that won’t be here next season that need to be replaced and we have to replace them wisely – but that’s normal.”
While he is delighted to have guided the Baggies to their highest-ever Barclays Premier League finish (eighth) and points total (49), he is disappointed they could not build significantly on their impressive first half of the season.
And he is determined to find ways to take the club forward again in his second season as a No.1.
“I look back with mixed views,” he revealed.
“I think the finishing position is great for the club, a good achievement for the players and, I suppose I should put myself in that as well – a good achievement in my first season.
“But the overriding feeling after the second half of the season is a little bit of disappointment that we couldn’t kick on.
“It lets us know where we are as a club and what we have to do to improve.”
The 49-year-old chief added: “I’m always hungry.
“I’ve always been hungry, right from the start of my career.
“I’ve always been ambitious, I always want to be successful and I want to do better.
“That’s what drives me on.
“I think the day I wake up and I don’t want to be better than yesterday is the day I’ll stop.”