Club News

Clarke: We must respect Southampton

And boss eager to avoid three successive Premier League defeats

STEVE Clarke has urged his players to show Southampton ‘respect’ in Monday’s Hawthorns clash (ko 8pm).

The newly-promoted Saints will make the trip to the Black Country languishing in the relegation zone and without a point on the road this term.

And, although eighth-placed Albion have beaten bottom-three opponents Reading and QPR at home already this season, Clarke remains wary of underestimating Nigel Adkins’ men.

“We've played teams near the bottom in Reading and QPR so we understand the type of game it can be,” he said.

“Southampton are coming here trying to kick-start their season.

“They've had some good performances and I've watched them a couple of times this year.

“They play good football, they are dangerous, they will get a lot of respect from us, and hopefully it is a good game.”

The Baggies boss is also keen to avoid Albion losing three successive Barclays Premier League games for the first time in almost two years, after harsh last-gasp defeats by Manchester City and Newcastle.

“The players know they've lost because you have that feeling when you sit in the dressing room and you know you have played really well and you've not had your reward for it,” added Clarke.

“We've had that two weeks in a row now and we look forward to Monday night so we can try and put it right.

“It feels like a bad run because we've had no points from the last two games but the performances in both games were really good.

“That's the message I've tried to give the players: 'if you continue to play like that and the performances are good, then the results will follow'.

“We've enjoyed the way we've played and hopefully our fans have enjoyed the way we try to play.

“It was good for us that we started the season so quickly but I said there would be days and moments when it wouldn’t go so well and we’re in one of those moments now.

“We’ve had two good performances and no points, and you need points on the board.

“As a team you have to make sure you don’t lose three in a row, so that’s the first objective, and if we play well and win it is great, but this Monday is all about getting the result.”