Club News

Clarke ready to test mean Canaries

And boss has no fears about his team's firepower after barren spell

STEVE Clarke insists he has no fears about Albion’s goalscoring firepower – but expects it to be tested to the limits against in-form Norwich tomorrow (ko 3pm).

The seventh-placed Baggies have not scored in over five hours of football but are still the third top scorers outside the Barclays Premier League’s top six.

Meanwhile, the Canaries have risen up to eighth in the table on the back of a ten-game unbeaten run that has seen them concede just eight goals, after shipping 17 times in their opening seven games.

“I’ve got no concerns about this team and group of players scoring goals whatsoever,” said Clarke.

“Norwich have been fantastic. Chris Hughton has gone in there and done a great job.

“He probably took a few games to get his message over about how he wanted the team to play and approach the games, but since they’ve picked up what Chris wanted them to do they’ve been great.

“They defend well, they’re strong, they’re comfortable in the league and they’re always a threat, and look like they can score a lot of goals.

“And they’re confident so it’s a challenge for us - but I think it’s one we’re ready for.”
He added: “It’s a similar game to last week.

“Norwich come in better form than West Ham.

“West Ham had lost a couple, whereas Norwich are on a really positive run of form.

“We’ll respect their qualities and we’ll try and make it a really difficult afternoon for them.

“They set up well defensively, especially away from home, and try and hit you on the counter-attack.

“We have to try and impose ourselves on them.”

City could be without their four-goal top goalscorer in the league, Grant Holt, due to injury.

But Clarke says the men from Norfolk have enough other threats to cause the Baggies problems.

“They have other players that can come in,” he said.

“[Steve] Morison up front is a good player.

“I watched them against Villa in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup and it was a great game, a very open game, and it was good to see them live because now I’ve got a feel for how they play.”