STEVE Clarke insists the first goal in today’s 2-0 defeat by Swansea was always going to be crucial – as he hopes for new recruits tomorrow to boost his team’s firepower.
The Baggies put in an improved home performance and came close to opening the scoring through James Morrison.
But the hosts were left stunned by Ben Davies’ 22nd-minute strike.
Nicolas Anelka came within inches of levelling before the break and Gareth McAuley headed just over from Graham Dorrans' free-kick in the second half.
But the hosts could not find a way through a resilient Swans defence and Pablo Hernandez sealed the points for the South Wales outfit on an 83rd-minute counter-attack.
“We showed today we can play some good football,” said Clarke.
“We knocked the ball around well and I thought it was a good passing game between two teams that could pass the ball and try to play football in the right way.
“Swansea on the day had a little bit more of a cutting edge than we did – and I think that was the difference.
“There were couple of chances we had before they scored - and if they go in it’s a different game.
“James Morrison had a free header and could have done better.
“Nicolas had a chance he just pulled wide of the goal.
“In a game like that, that’s the difference.
“If you don’t score you’re not going to win games.
“We scored over 50 goals last season and you know, by and large, you have to score between 40 and 50 goals to be still in the Premier League.
“We need to find some goals.
“I think as a team today we got into some good positions but didn’t show enough quality or conviction to turn those positions into chances.
“And obviously the more chances you make the more chance you have of scoring goals.”
The transfer window closes at 11pm tomorrow and the Albion chief revealed how things stand with just over 24 hours to go.
“I need players in forward areas that are going to give us that little bit of quality so when we do get in the final third of the pitch we can create chances," Clarke added.
“I think we took the ball a lot to the final third of the pitch today but didn’t quite produce enough chances.
“We need players to help us find the key to win matches.
"Normally to win matches you need attacking players – players with a little bit of craft and quality.
“If you look at all the top teams they have players of good craft and quality through the central areas – and they also have good pace and good penetration in wide areas.
“Hopefully we can add to the squad in those ways.
“I spoke at length on Thursday about the need to bring fresh faces into the group.
“The club, the chairman, Richard [Garlick] and Mark Jenkins are working hard – and have been working hard this week – to try and do the deals that will make this squad better and more competitive.
“Now, with just over 24 hours to go, hopefully some of those deals are starting to come to fruition.
“I think we’re close to one or two.
“Hopefully between now and 11pm tomorrow night there will be some good news for the supporters, because the supporters need some good news.
“I think the squad needs some good news, and even I could do with some good news.”