And boss praises every player for contribution to strong startSTEVE Clarke insisted his side were ‘good value’ for their 2-0 win over an in-form Everton as they extended their unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League to three games.
The Toffees arrived at The Hawthorns on the back of a hat-trick of wins in all competitions – but the Baggies should have taken the lead in the 29th minute when Shane Long hit the bar.
The Ireland international made amends on 65 as he swept home substitute Peter Odemwingie’s cross and Gareth McAuley sealed all three points with his first goal of the season eight minutes from time.
Albion now head into the international break third in the table, with seven points from nine, and Clarke believes it is thoroughly deserved.
“It was a very good afternoon,” said the Baggies boss.
“It was a good game for us.
“Everton came here in a good moment and we arrived also in a good moment.
“I thought the first half was a little bit cagey, it was two good teams that were feeling each other out a little bit.
“In the second half the game opened up a little bit and I thought we were good value for the win.”
He added: “It’s a good start when you look at the games we've had.
“It could have been difficult – mind you it is always difficult in the Premier League.
“It doesn’t matter who you play, you know it’s going to be a tough game.
“But seven points out of nine is a good start and it gives us something to build on.”
Clarke admits life is being good to him at the beginning of his managerial career.
He is refusing to get carried away but was delighted his decision to bring on Odemwingie for Graham Dorrans with the game goalless made a difference.
“Management is definitely not easy,” said the Albion chief.
“You’ve got to pick your team, pick your squad.
“There were some fantastic players that weren’t even involved in the game today.
“I have to juggle that around.
“But credit to the players that I picked today.
“They went out there and did the job.
“The substitutes came in and made the difference when they were on the pitch.
“It’s important everyone makes a contribution.
“I felt the time was right to bring some fresh legs on the pitch and throw on a little bit of pace to try and catch the opposition out on the counter.
“I wasn’t thinking so much about what Everton could do to us at that stage, I was thinking about what we could do to Everton.”