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Boss likes look of midfield duo

15 August 2012

And Clarke confirms Brunt will remain as captain

STEVE Clarke is looking forward to seeing how the central midfield partnership of Youssouf Mulumbu and Claudio Yacob develops after pairing the two together for the first time.

The Hawthorns boss was pleased with the defensive work the duo did to give his forwards license to attack in the Baggies’ final pre-season game at Nottingham Forest on Friday.

And, now summer signing Yacob is getting closer to full fitness, it has given Clarke food for thought ahead of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League opener with Liverpool (ko 3pm).

“Having those two in there allows you to be a little bit more expansive in forward areas,” he said.

“It was the first time I had them both in a physical condition to play together so it was a chance to look at that.

“I’ve tried different things in the midfield area in the course of pre-season and the Forest game was really the first time I’d had a chance to see them playing in there together - I thought they did well.”

Clarke added: “Claudio’s come here and because he’s a free transfer people tend to look down their nose because he didn’t cost any money.

“But he’s been capped by Argentina and I think that says enough.

“There was competition for his signature.

"He had many offers to go to other countries in Europe but he chose to come here, which is great for us.”

Clarke has also confirmed Chris Brunt will remain as captain for the 2012/13 season.

“I haven’t seen any reason to change the captaincy and I said that quite early on when I came in,” he insisted.

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