Boss insists no-one to blame after harsh defeat by PottersSTEVE Clarke insisted Albion’s harsh 1-0 Hawthorns defeat by Stoke proved to be the 'game of one chance’ he predicted – and unfortunately it went against them.
Boaz Myhill and his Potters counterpart Asmir Begovic had little to do throughout the 90 minutes.
The Baggies controlled large parts of the game but could not break down a stubborn City team that boasts the second-best defensive record in the Barclays Premier League.
And substitute Dean Whitehead came on to pinch all three points for the visitors with a 75th-minute strike that inflicted the hosts to only their second home defeat of the campaign.
“To be honest it was the kind of game we thought it might be,” said Clarke.
“The two teams really cancelled each other out and it was a game of very, very few chances.
“We spoke before it was probably a game of one chance.
“We spoke again at half-time it was probably a game of one chance and unfortunately for us the chance fell to Stoke.”
Michael Kightly teed up the only goal of the game after pouncing on a loose ball following a challenge between Jonas Olsson and Kenwyne Jones on the touchline.
And Clarke refused to lay the blame at anyone’s door after City capitalised.
He added: “Jonas made a decision to take the ball out to the touchline.
“For me it's the defender’s decision and he has to make that call.
“He made the right call.
“The ball was going out and he made a good tackle on Kenwyne Jones, unfortunately when it came down the line it went to Kightly.
“How critical do you want to be of players – that’s not correct.
“It wasn’t a mistake.”
The Albion boss also insisted the fact he made six changes to his team from Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat at Swansea had no bearing on the result.
“The changes were made at the end of a difficult week with two long away trips,” he said.
“A long trip to the North East followed by a long trip to South Wales.
“I just felt it was right that the boys who played in the two away games and put in a lot of effort over the two games, meant it was the right time to freshen things up.
“I think if anyone says that was the reason we didn’t win the game it would be wrong.”