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Clarke focusing on players' strengths

22 August 2012

And boss happy to deal with difficult decisions

STEVE Clarke insists his main focus when picking his Albion XI will remain the strengths of his players – and not the opposition.

The Baggies boss relished the chance of being the man to pick a Barclays Premier League team for the first time in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Liverpool.

And he believes his troops have the assets to cause any of their top-flight rivals problems, as he prepares them for this weekend's trip to Tottenham (ko 3pm).

“First and foremost we look at what the players can do for us and what they can give to the team,” he said.

“Certain opposition teams have different characteristics and maybe we can tweak things a little bit.

“I won’t be looking too much at the opposition to determine what our team will be on any given matchday.

“It was a good result for us on Saturday – but now we need to move on.

“The games come thick and fast in the Premier League and they don’t come any easier.

“We follow on with a difficult away game this week.”

He added: “I’m hoping people start to talk about the team, more than they talk about me being in my first managerial job.

“I did relish picking the team.

“It’s a great problem I’ve got, having so many good players to choose from.

“I chose to bring those players in.

“If I bring them in I have to be comfortable to deal with it.

“I slept well on the Friday night.

“I actually didn’t sleep well on the Saturday, after the game - I wasn’t expecting that.

“Maybe I was just coming down a little bit? You build up and up for an event.

“I just didn’t sleep very well on Saturday night, which is surprising.”

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