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Clarke weighing up cup options

28 August 2012

Boss sets sights on silverware for Baggies

STEVE Clarke admits he must find the right balance between utilising his squad and fielding a team strong enough to beat Yeovil in tonight’s Capital One Cup second-round clash (ko 7.45pm).

Albion head to Huish Park in confident mood after taking four points from their tough two opening Barclays Premier League games against Liverpool and Spurs – and the Baggies boss has set his sights on silverware in the cups this season.

But the Glovers are riding high at the top of League One and Clarke expects them to come out all guns blazing for what he has described as their 'cup final'.

“I think I've got a number of players in the squad who deserve to play,” said the Albion boss.

“It's up to me to get the balance right between putting too many in and playing some of the boys who played on Saturday

“I need to go away, look at the injury situation, maybe the ones who are over-tired, who has a knock, and see if the injured players will be able to play.
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“I have squad players who need to play but this is a competition we will take seriously and whichever team we play on Tuesday has to go down there with the right attitude.

“It's a big game for Yeovil, it's their cup final, they have a Premier League team going down to their ground and they'll want to turn us over and cause an upset.

“All I'll say to our players is that our ambition to do well in the league cup has to be bigger than Yeovil's ambition to do well in this one game against us.

“We’ll be red-hot favourites, and so we should be, but we need to match the attitude of Yeovil.

“We need to be professional and we need to make sure we get the result that takes us into the next round.”

The League Cup has been kind to Clarke throughout his time in football.

The Scot won the competition once as a player during his Stamford Bridge days and three times as a coach – twice with Chelsea and last season alongside his current joint-No.2 Kevin Keen, with Liverpool.

He added: “It's a competition that's always been good to me and one that I enjoy.

“Like I said right at the start of the season, we'll attack the competition.

“I won it as a player and three times as a coach so I've got four winners' medals and I think it's a competition you can attack.

“The early rounds come in the early part of the season.

“There are a lot of players in the squad who deserve to play but don't always get to, so you can use it that way.

“You can use the competition wisely, and as long as everybody goes into it with the right attitude, you can progress.”

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