STEVE Clarke has praised Gabriel Tamas and George Thorne for stepping out of the shadows to produce performances against league leaders Manchester United he says epitomise the spirit in the squad.
The Baggies boss made seven changes to his starting XI due to injuries and the Old Trafford clash being the third of four games in ten days.
Romania international Tamas made only his second top-flight start of the season at centre-half in the absence of Jonas Olsson (groin), while 19-year-old Thorne stepped in for Youssouf Mulumbu (hamstring) in the centre of the park less than 48 hours after being recalled from his loan spell at Peterborough.
And Clarke was delighted with their efforts in what turned out to be a harsh 2-0 defeat after back-to-backs wins over Norwich and QPR.
“We’re in the entertainment industry and people are on holiday,” he said.
“It’s our job to go out there and entertain them.
“The problem is if you keep pushing and pushing the players then maybe you don’t get the same level of entertainment.
“There was a great intensity to the game today.
“I’ve said all season we have a really good squad of players.
“I made a number of changes today and the changes I made were good.
“The boys that went in did well for the team and the club.”
He added: “I thought at the back Gabi Tamas was good. He played like what he is.
“He is a Romanian international.
“He’s not just any old player; he has a good, experienced career behind him.
“Every time I’ve played him this year he has gone on and done a great job for us.
“He’s one of the reasons I keep saying we’ve got a really strong squad.
“He hasn’t been able to get in the team regularly because of the form of [Gareth] McAuley and Olsson.
“But he is there when we need him and that’s important.
“Young George Thorne returned from Peterborough United yesterday and I threw him in.
“But I didn’t just throw him in. We had other options I could have used in midfield.
“I know he’s been out on loan because he’s been frustrated he couldn’t get in our team.
“So, we let him out to get match experience and get competitive games in the Championship.
“We got some great reports on him and I knew he could go in there and play - and he did.”
Clarke was also pleased with Markus Rosenberg’s display in only his second Barclays Premier League start.
“It’s been a difficult time for Markus Rosenberg because of the form of [Romelu] Lukaku and [Shane] Long which has kept him at arm’s length from the team,” he said.
“But he came in today and put in a great shift for us.
“Those three as an example epitomised the squad and spirit we have in the club.”