14:38 19th September 2013
And boss calls for more flair ahead of 'fiery' Sunderland clash
STEVE Clarke admits he is still searching for the right way for his new-look team to play as he called for an injection of flair ahead of Saturday’s game with Sunderland (ko 3pm).
The Hawthorns clash sees the Barclays Premier League's bottom two go head to head in search of their first win of the campaign.
And the Baggies boss is hoping it is a game that will see his side click into gear as he attempts to bed in his summer signings.
“Every year is different,” said Clarke.
“You have to get a feel for your players and the way your team prefers to play.
“And I think with the late changes we’ve had mean it’s been a little bit more difficult.
“Even going into the first three games – because the transfer window was still open – the players and everyone around the club were still waiting on players coming in because they knew some would come in but didn’t know who.
“You then have to find an idea and a feel for the players.
“We’re still searching for the right way to play because we haven’t won a game yet.
“Hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.”
He added: “The flair has been missing from the team.
“We haven’t played with any great fluidity or flair going forwards.
“I’m not really sure why because we’ve still got a lot of the players we had last year.
“We haven’t been creative enough – that shows in the goals-for column.
“One goal from a set-play is not enough.
“But it’s something we’re working on.
“The more good players and creative players we have available then surely, the longer the season goes, it will get better.”
The Albion chief is not putting any stock in last season’s double over the Black Cats due to the changes in both squads from last term.
And it will be the first time the Mackems have visited the Black Country under the stewardship of Paolo Di Canio.
“I think Sunderland have changed a lot as a team,” added Clarke.
“We’ve changed a lot as a team.
“It’s a new challenge, a new season, and both teams are desperate for points, so it should be quite a fiery encounter.
“It would give everybody a big lift if we could win.
“When you’re four games into the season and you haven’t won a game you start to get a bit anxious.
“It’s my job to try and keep that anxiety away from the players.
“The players have to go out and play with freedom and play as if they’re enjoying their football.
“If you don’t enjoy your football you don’t play to your maximum.
“So the players have to go out and enjoy it and hopefully the win will come this weekend.
“The crowd here are good, they understand the team and they understand the Premier League season is a long season.
“There are a lot of points still to play for.
“It’s not the time to be getting too anxious.
“Obviously, the quicker the win comes the better.”
WATCH STEVEN REID, GEORGE THORNE AND ZOLTAN GERA IN ACTION AGAINST A SWINDON DEVELOPMENT XI AS THEY CONTINUE RECOVERIES FROM INJURIES: