Club News

Boss has faith in squad

Clarke also says signs are encouraging after Yacob debut

STEVE Clarke claims Albion are still looking to evolve the squad ahead of the big kick-off – but he won’t lose any sleep if there are no further additions.

That is the faith the new head coach has in his current crop who, by and large, have guided the Baggies to 11th and tenth place finishes in the Barclays Premier League.

Clarke claims the club are still very busy behind the scenes in their quest to recruit new talent to improve his squad during what has so far been a relatively quiet transfer window across the country.

But he says he has seen enough from his troops during pre-season, and from their performances in the top flight over the past two campaigns, to head into the new season with high hopes.

“We’re looking all over to see if we can bring people in to improve the squad we’ve got,” said Clarke, whose next assignment is tomorrow’s friendly at Walsall (ko 7.45pm).

“But if I had to start the season with this squad, I would be happy. I know I’ve got enough. 

“The players have proved over the last two years they can compete in and handle the Premier League.

“I don’t have any worries on that score.

“But if players become available that can make us better and improve the squad, we’ll try to bring them in.

“If not, like I said, I’m happy.”

Clarke blooded the club’s latest acquisition, Claudio Yacob, as a second-half sub in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Argentina international, who has been playing catch-up on his fitness since officially joining 12 days ago, immediately looked at home in his holding midfield role at Hillsborough.

And Clarke says Yacob should be in tip-top condition for Saturday week’s league opener against Liverpool.

“Claudio came into the game when players around him were tired,” he said.

“He looked good to me, comfortable.

“He’s a good passer of the ball and put one fantastic pass in for Simon Cox.

“He’s a really good addition to the squad and is coming on with his physical work.

“Come August 18, I would think he’ll be up to full speed.”