Club News

Summer recruits could fill Peter void

And Clarke hoping to avoid becoming Reading's first scalp

STEVE Clarke says new signings Romelu Lukaku and Markus Rosenberg are vying for their first Barclays Premier League starts against Reading on Saturday (ko 3pm) as he looks to fill the void left by Peter Odemwingie.

Odemwingie will begin a three-match ban against the Royals for his Craven Cottage red card.

And Clarke could turn to his summer recruits to fill the Nigeria international’s boots as Albion look to avoid becoming newly-promoted Reading’s first top-flight scalp of the season.

“Peter is out for three games and I'll concentrate on those players we have available,” said the Baggies boss.

“I will decide on the best team to play against Reading.

“Peter is suspended so there is an opportunity for someone.

“Yeah, Romelu could come into the picture.

“He's been in my thoughts since the minute he came into the club.

“I've said before that I've been delighted with Shane.

“The decision to take him off at half-time at Fulham was tactical.

“We couldn't get enough support to him in the first half and then obviously when we went down to ten men we needed a different type of forward.

“I've got Marcus Rosenberg chomping at the bit so I've got plenty to chew over before the weekend.”

The Royals go into the Hawthorns encounter bottom-but-one having lost their last two games and conceded seven goals since their 1-1 opening-day draw with Stoke.

Meanwhile, the sixth-placed Baggies will be looking to bounce back from their 3-0 reverse at Fulham – their first defeat of the campaign.

“Reading is a good club, well organised from top to bottom,” Clarke added.

“There is a really good structure and Brian McDermott has been there for a long time and knows the club inside out.

“He’s done a fantastic job to get them into the Premier League having suffered a real heartbreak in the play-offs the year before last.

“To get them up the way he did in the manner he did was a great achievement so they will be tough opponents.

“They’re a strong team, they’re aggressive and they like to put you under pressure.

“Three games in for them and four games for us, I am sure they’ll be thinking that they need to find a result from somewhere so we have to be on our guard that the first win in the Premier League is not against us.”