Club News

Clarke hoping to avoid QPR 'spark'

But boss sure former team-mate Hughes will turn Rangers' fortunes

“I’ve never worked with him as a manager.”

“He’s like a split personality – when he was on the pitch as a player he was really aggressive but off the pitch he was different.

“Off the pitch he is mild-mannered and calm.

“But I’m not really sure what he’s like as a manager and whether he is a ranter and raver or not.

“Mark’s an experienced campaigner.

“I'm sure he has been in this position a couple of times before with Blackburn and he will know what to do, and he will know how to get his team out of it.

“He has got far more experience than me in terms of being a manager.

“It is a difficult situation for him.

“I bumped into Mark a couple of weeks ago at one of the games and we keep in touch.

“They need to turn their season around and we need to make sure we are 100 per cent at it.

“This is a tricky game.

“It is up to us to make sure tomorrow it doesn't click for them and they are still struggling going into the international break - that is our job.

“They've got some really good players. It hasn't quite clicked for them.

“That is the case with QPR.

“You go to a club, they invest in a number of players, sometimes it gels quickly, other times it takes a little bit longer,” said the Baggies boss.

But Clarke, who played alongside 'Sparky' at Stamford Bridge for three years, expects the visitors to arrive at The Hawthorns like a dangerous wounded animal after Monday’s 2-1 derby defeat at home to West Ham.

In contrast, the Baggies are flying high in sixth spot and will be gunning to record four successive home wins from the start of a top-flight season for the first time since 1919/20 when they won the league.

The R's, who made 12 summer signings, sit bottom of the Barclays Premier League on two points after six games.

STEVE Clarke believes his former Chelsea team-mate Mark Hughes will turn things around at QPR – but hopes his change in fortunes does not start tomorrow (ko 3pm).

PIC: GLORY DAYS...Clarke celebrates Hughes' 1998 European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final winner for Chelsea against Vicenza