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Clarke remains positive after Yacob blow

PUBLISHED

09:44 21st December 2012

Boss confident he has midfield players to cover with Mulumbu also suspended

STEVE Clarke is confident he has the players to cover for the absence of key duo Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu against Norwich tomorrow (ko 3pm).

Yacob will miss his second successive game with a hamstring problem, while Mulumbu will serve a one-match ban for picking up five yellow cards.

Steven Reid will sit out his second match in a row with a badly bruised shin but Liam Ridgewell (ankle) and Ben Foster (groin) are fit to face the Canaries after overcoming injuries.

“We’re in a much better situation than last week,” said Clarke.

“We had a few players playing with little problems, which is good because it shows the character in the squad – they want to push themselves through the pain barrier.

“Going into the game this week we’ve got two players missing.

“Steven Reid and Claudio Yacob are still not available.

“Everyone else is fit and well.”

The Albion chief must now reshuffle his midfielders against Chris Hughton’s in-form City outfit.

“We’ve got other midfield players who can slot in there,” he added.

“Obviously you don’t like some of your players to be out missing but I’ve got no worries about the boys that come in – they’ll do the job.

“Claudio Yacob is a defensive midfield player, I’m not sure I would class Youssouf Mulumbu as a defensive midfield player.

“Youssouf is a midfield player and I have a number of midfield players who can step in and be ready to play.

“Chris Brunt went in there last week and did well, James Morrison has played in there this season and in previous seasons and done well.

“Graham Dorrans is a central midfield player, Zoltan Gera can play in there, I’ve also got Gonzalo Jara Reyes, who can play in there.

“I’ve got plenty of options.

“We didn’t have Claudio in a few games this season and the shape and balance of the midfield has always been good.

“It’s not something that overly concerns me.”

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