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Clarke: We deserved a point

25 August 2012

And boss glad he kept goal hero Morrison on after early injury

STEVE Clarke was delighted with the way his players battled back to bag a point in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham – and insisted: “It would have been a travesty had we lost.”

The Baggies withstood heavy first-half pressure without Ben Foster’s goal ever really being threatened.

And when Spurs did eventually break the deadlock in the 74th minute it took a wicked deflection off Graham Dorrans to divert Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s shot home.

But the Baggies were not to be undone and in-the-wars James Morrison came to the rescue with a deserved equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time.

“I was really pleased with the players,” said Clarke.

“We spoke at half-time about them believing in themselves and they did that.

“It would've been a travesty if we'd lost.

“I’ve got great faith in all these players.

“You see them go a goal down with 16 minutes to go, and this is a difficult place to go 1-0 down because you know the game will open up and Tottenham have got great pace on the counter-attack.

“But we kept going, showed great belief and created chances.”

And Clarke reckons a leveller arriving was never in doubt.

He added: “I’m unbelievable because I never think it’s not going to be my day!

“When I stand on the touchline, I just believe the next chance that falls to us is going to go in the net.

“It’s my make-up.

“I’ve always been like that.

“I just believe that something will happen and I actually said to Keith Downing ‘don’t worry, we’ll get another chance before the game finishes’ – and we did.”

Morrison suffered an ankle injury in the opening minute of the match and Clarke admitted he flirted with the idea of taking him off - but was glad he followed his intuition to leave him on the pitch.

“He rolled his ankle very early on,” said the Baggies boss.

“We weren’t sure if he’d continue and it did cross my mind whether to take him off.

“But I think you leave someone like James Morrison on the pitch because you know if you’re looking for a goal he can maybe pop up with one – and he did that.”

Clarke is now hoping four points from the opening two games against Liverpool and Spurs will give his men real belief for the rest of the campaign.

“It is a good start and it should give the players confidence,” he added.

“I think I had enough confidence in them anyway – but it certainly gives me more confidence in the group.

“It wasn’t an easy start for us.

“I think a lot of people would have looked at our start and said ‘West Brom might struggle a bit’.

“But this is an experienced group of players and they know what’s required to get results in the Premier League.

“We’ve tried to add a bit to help them attack the season with a little bit of relish.

“I think you can see in the first two games they have done that.”

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