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Clarke: Places still up for grabs

7 August 2012

Head coach says it is all to play for ahead of Liverpool opener

STEVE Clarke says it is still all to play for as the countdown to Albion’s league opener against Liverpool on Saturday week (ko 3pm) continues.

The head coach says his troops have time to force their way into his starting line-up during the club’s final two friendlies.

The Baggies make the short journey to League One Walsall tonight before travelling to Championship side Nottingham Forest on Friday (both ko at 7.45pm).

“I wouldn’t be very good at my job if I didn’t have some kind of idea as to what I’m thinking about for the Liverpool game!” quipped Clarke.

“But it would be wrong of me to say I know exactly what I’m going to do.

“Lots of things can happen between now and then. There’s another two games for a start.

“All positions are open for people to impress. There are places up for grabs.

“Rather than get fixed on one team, I’ll give everybody the chance to get on the pitch and try to persuade me they should be in the starting XI.

“That’s why you make substitutions in friendlies, like on Saturday.

“You look to see the reaction when the players go onto the pitch.

“At Sheffield Wednesday, everyone who went on ran around, did well and looked to try and improve the team.

“That’s all the boys can do. If I get to the start of the season with everybody fit and available, it makes my job difficult – but also makes it better.”

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