But Clarke now sweating on Yacob as Mulumbu picks up suspensionSTEVE Clarke hailed the full-back displays of recalled duo Goran Popov and Billy Jones in today’s goalless draw with West Ham.
The pair came into the side due to the absence of Liam Ridgewell (ankle) and Steven Reid as the only two changes to the team that lost 2-0 at Arsenal last weekend.
Two key figures in Albion’s defensive success this term - Ben Foster (groin) and Claudio Yacob (hamstring) - also missed out.
And Clarke will now be hoping even more the latter can recover in time for Saturday’s home clash with Norwich (ko 3pm) with Youssouf Mulumbu suspended against the Canaries after picking up his fifth booking of the season against the Hammers.
“To be honest Ben and Claudio weren't close to playing today," said the Baggies boss.
"But defensively I thought we were strong.
“We wanted to put in a strong defensive performance to make sure the worse we got today was a point - and that’s what it turned out we had to accept.
“Goran was one of a number of good performers for us.
“I thought Billy Jones on the other side was good as well.
“The back-four were strong and solid.
“It’s good for Goran because he’s not had too many starts and it’s good to see he is settling into the Premier League.”