And Clarke's joint-No.2 explains Thomas' absenceKEITH Downing is hopeful both Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku will be available for Saturday’s home clash with Everton (ko 3pm) after both missed tonight’s 4-2 Capital One Cup win at Yeovil.
Nigeria international Odemwingie missed his second successive game and loan star Lukaku did not make the trip to Huish Park as the pair continue to receive treatment on minor problems picked up on the training pitch.
And Downing explained Jerome Thomas has been forced to sit out the opening three games of the campaign due to injury.
“I don’t think Peter is far away," he said.
"We’ll have to assess him Wednesday/Thursday and nearer the weekend we’ll be able to shed a bit more light on his fitness – but it’s not a serious one.
“So I would think he would be very close to being in the squad on Saturday.
“Lukaku has a training-ground injury he sustained on the Sunday.
“He won’t be far away.
“Jerome’s injured at the moment and therefore hasn’t figured for the last few weeks.
“He’s just on the treatment table trying to get himself fit.”