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Clarke: Players beat the pressure

PUBLISHED

18:48 22nd December 2012

Baggies boss says three points was crucial against the Canaries

STEVE Clarke hailed his players for beating the pressure to come from behind against in-form Norwich and claim all three points in a 2-1 victory.

The Canaries arrived at The Hawthorns on the back of a ten-game unbeaten run and stunned the Baggies by taking the lead through Robert Snodgrass’ 23rd-minute free-kick.

Albion, who had only taken one point from their previous four games and had not scored in 315 minutes of football, managed to level two minutes before the break through Zoltan Gera.

And Clarke’s ambitious substitutions in bringing on Marc-Antoine Fortune at half-time and Shane Long in the 62nd minute to bolster an attack already containing Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku ultimately saw the hosts force a winner from the latter eight minutes from time.

“There’s come a little bit more pressure on us,” said the Baggies boss, whose side are now sixth in the table on 30 points from 18 games, only behind third spot on goal difference.

“We spoke about it before the game.

“It was a big game for us today.

“I think it was important we got the three points.

“We huffed and puffed a bit in the game a little bit to be honest.

“I thought it was crucial for us to get the goal just before half-time.

“We haven’t scored for a number of hours as people kept pointing out.

“Sometimes when it’s like that you either need a fantastic goal or a sloppy goal, which changed it.

“At the start of the second half I made one change, which was tactical.

“Graham Dorrans had done well in the first half but I felt him and Chris Brunt were maybe a little too similar looking to come on the ball.

“We tried to address that problem and brought on Marco Fortune.

“It didn’t really change the course of the game if I’m being honest because we were still stuttering a little bit.

“So I decided to stick on another forward and stick four up front to try and turn one point into three because I felt three points was really important for us.”

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