Club News

Clarke: Markus needs time

Boss urges patience with new signing as he plays catch-up

STEVE Clarke has called for patience with new signing Markus Rosenberg as he gets up to speed with his fitness before tackling a new league.

The Sweden striker yesterday put pen to paper on a three-year Baggies deal and watched his new team-mates from the stands during last night’s 3-1 pre-season win at Walsall.

But having been out of contract, Rosenberg has not trained with a team since exiting Euro 2012 with his country on June 19.

And Clarke admits the Barclays Premier League opener against Liverpool on Saturday week (ko 3pm) could come too soon for him.

“Markus works hard for the team and his energy levels are fantastic,” said the Albion chief.

“He joins us after a seven-week break, which is not ideal, so his energy levels are not fantastic at the moment.

“But he trained for the first time with some of the players yesterday and he’s excited about the challenge - and it is a challenge.

“Playing in the Premier League, no matter where you’ve been, it’s a different league.

“And all the players we’ve brought in will take a little bit of time to adjust.

“Markus will take a bit of time physically to catch up with the rest.

“We’ll work him as hard as we feel necessary between now and the start of the season.

“But, if he’s not ready then, he’ll be ready when he is.”