Club News

Clarke senses edge to players

Boss says frustrations have been burning away during quiet fixture spell

STEVE Clarke insists his players have plenty to get off their chests against Newcastle tomorrow (ko 3pm) after playing just two games in the last 34 days.

The Baggies boss has sensed an edge to training this week, with him and the players chomping at the bit to unleash their frustrations from the West Ham and Arsenal defeats against the Magpies.

And he admits he may have to calm his troops down before he sends them out at The Hawthorns this weekend.

“I’ve honestly not enjoyed the break,” said Clarke.

“We’ve played two games in 34 days which, at this time of the season, is something that takes a lot of getting used to.

“There has been too much spare time.

“I’ve mentioned before we’ve struggled to find a little bit of rhythm during the second half of the season and that doesn’t help us – and on the back of two defeats as well.

“The training this week has been quite good, quite intense, the players are a bit tetchy and I think they are looking forward to the game.

“It’s been a big break at a strange time.

“Normally at this stage you’re playing game and game and game, and you get into a good rhythm.

“We haven’t managed to do that yet but we have six games now in the last 30 days and we’ll look forward to them.

“I’m really mindful the season is not over yet and the players are as well because there has been a little edge to the training this week, which has been good for me to see.

“The players are desperate to put the two defeats they’ve just had out the way and get back to picking up more points for the club.

“Hopefully Newcastle will feel that.

“Newcastle should be wound up as well after a bad reverse last week in the derby game so it should be an interesting fixture.”

He added: “There are a lot of games that have been played until now and in some months of the season you play game and game and game and you’re struggling physically.

“We’re probably the opposite now where we are a little bit too fresh and too eager.

“It’s important we calm ourselves down and shape up the team properly at the weekend.

“We should be fresh, full of enthusiasm and there is a little bit of a feeling we’ve waited too long to put right a couple of defeats we’ve had.

“We’ve got a few things we want to get off our chests and a need to calm down a few frustrations.

“We’ve felt, although we’ve only played two games in a month, the West Ham game was disappointing and the Arsenal game was disappointing for a different reason because we felt we put enough into that game
to get something out of it.

“We didn’t and we’ll look to put that right at the weekend.”