Club News

Clarke on Lugano and Vydra fitness

Boss gives indication how far duo are from being ready for starting XI

STEVE Clarke has provided an update on how far away summer signings Diego Lugano and Matej Vydra are from being ready for his starting XI.

The Baggies boss explained he left Lugano out of Saturday’s squad to face Southampton primarily due to his long-haul trip to Japan on midweek international duty for Uruguay.

While Vydra, who made a brief cameo as an 83rd-minute substitute against the Saints, only linked up with his new team-mates for the first time on Thursday following action for the Czech Republic the previous night.

And Clarke is relishing the chance to work with both of his new recruits more closely this week ahead of Saturday’s visit to Everton (ko 3pm).

“Diego I didn’t include in the squad at all on Saturday,” he said.

“He travelled with Uruguay and went to Japan.

“I think their manager made the same decision on Yoshida, who played in the same game - it’s a long journey.

“Diego when he came in to the club was a little bit behind us in his preparation.

“Vydra – I have to be honest – I haven’t seen much of.

“He came in for his medical last week and then went away with the Czech Republic.

“He played for them, turned up Thursday afternoon, I saw him for 20 minutes having a little jog and stretch.

“We did 45 minutes work on Friday in preparation for the game.

“I thought he looked quite lively when he came on.

“I know he’s done a full pre-season with Udinese so I think Matej will pick up the pace quickly.”