And Clarke praises Lugano on full Prem debut
STEVE Clarke insists he will keep faith with Stephane Sessegnon after the Albion forward was left ruing missed chances for his second successive home appearance.
The Benin international wasted a golden opportunity to make it 1-1 seven minutes into the second-half of today’s harsh 2-0 defeat by Norwich.
And it brought back unwanted memories of the glorious chance he let slip to put the Baggies 3-0 up in the 2-2 derby draw with Villa less than a fortnight ago.
But Clarke was pleased with the former Sunderland man’s overall performance against the Canaries.
“You have to keep faith in him and keep believing in him,” said the Albion boss.
“That’s the type of player Stephane is.
“He got in a couple of great positions; he contributed a lot to the team performance today.
“On another day he’d have had a couple of goals.
“The first chance he missed at the start of the second half was going in the net.
“It hit Martin Olsson on the arm, which stopped the ball going into the net.
“Whether the referee saw it or not doesn’t help us.
“And I’m not sitting here crying about a penalty decision because it’s a tough one to call.
“But the ball was going into the net so it’s hard to say that was a big miss.
“With the second chance he had, instead of rolling it six inches outside the post he should have rolled it six inches inside the post.
“But these things happen.”
Clarke reserved praise for Diego Lugano after he stepped into the suspended Jonas Olsson’s boots to make his full Barclays Premier League debut.
“I thought he did well; I was pleased,” he added.
“It’s difficult for him because he hasn’t had too many starts for us.
“I thought he acquitted himself well in the second half when we risked a lot and he was exposed to the counter-attack.
“I thought all the defenders stood up to be counted.”