Club News

Clarke: Sinclair's a breath of fresh air

24th August

And boss says Gera's enthusiasm has also lifted spirits

STEVE Clarke has described the enthusiasm of new signing Scott Sinclair and Baggies stalwart Zoltan Gera as a ‘breath of fresh air’ in the Baggies camp.

Albion head to Everton today (ko 3pm) with Sinclair chomping at the bit to start the Goodison Park encounter following a frustrating season on the sidelines at Manchester City.

And Clarke admits the 24-year-old winger is on a mission to prove a point, with the carrot of forcing his way into England’s World Cup squad, should they qualify for Brazil 2014.

“I think it’s a big year for him,” said the Albion chief.

“When you’re that age and you’ve had a year without football, I think you have to be focused on the job – and Scott is certainly focused on the job.

“He is so excited to be here.

“I think I could throw him on the pitch today but I’d be a little bit concerned he’d run out of energy after 20 minutes.

“He’s so hyped up to start the game – it’s so refreshing to see.

“I’m genuinely excited because he came in on Thursday and was like a breath of fresh air around the place.

“It was a blow in the morning with the news about Nicolas [Anelka] but then we had Scotty come in the afternoon, buzzing and lifting everyone’s spirits.”

He added: “Scott has to get his career back on track.

“He’s a young player who needs to play.

“It’s a World Cup year so can he be part of the squad – yes, why not?

“If he’s a winger who can create and score goals, why can’t he be part of the England squad that goes to Brazil?

“He’s got a lot to play for this year.

“He’s obviously got great potential otherwise a club like Man City wouldn’t have splashed out the money for him.

“He’s also been at Chelsea, so he’s been at big clubs – but his best spell for playing, scoring and creating was at Swansea.

“So, I think he’s hoping coming to West Bromwich Albion will give him the same platform to do well.

“I think there are some places open in the England squad - there has to be, as a week in football is a long time, never mind six months or a year, for someone to force their way into the plans to go the World Cup.

“For all the young wingers that want to get to Brazil and represent their country, I think there is a great chance for them all."

Meanwhile, Clarke says no-one can wipe the smile of Gera’s face as he prepares to follow fellow long-term knee injury victim George Thorne back into first-team training next week.

“I’ve also got Zoltan Gera, whose almost ready to join the team again next week for training,” he said.

“He’s like a 12-year-old at the moment – he’s so excited about the chance to be back out with the group.

“And to see that is so refreshing.”