And Baggies boss says points come before performance at Cardiff
STEVE Clarke insists tomorrow’s trip to Cardiff (ko 3pm) cannot come quickly enough as he targets three points regardless of the performance.
The Baggies boss says his players are chomping at the bit to draw a line under the three successive defeats in a week that have seen them drop to 15th place and just two points above the bottom three.
But he is taking nothing granted against a newly-promoted Bluebirds outfit who have only won twice at home in seven attempts this term – but did beat Manchester City 3-2 on their own patch.
“We had a bad week and we have to prove that was just what it was,” said Clarke, as his team prepare to face former Baggies striker Peter Odemwingie for the first time since he left The Hawthorns in September.
“The last time we had three games in a row where we didn’t do very well was right at the start of the season and then we went on a fantastic run – and that’s what we have to do again.
“This week’s game can’t come quick enough.
“The boys have been chomping at the bit and are ready for the game.
“It’s been a difficult week but they understand things can change very quickly in football.
“You have to win games.
“It’s an industry that says you have to win.
“Three defeats in a row, whether it comes over a three-week period or in a week, is still three defeats.
“All we focus on this week is making sure we get back to winning ways.
“If you said we’re going to go to Cardiff and play terrible and win I’d be delighted.
“It’s a week to get results.
“Even before the Norwich game it was a game to win and normally, since I’ve been here and it’s been a game like that, the team has always won.
“I would say that’s the first time we’ve gone into a game like that and we haven’t won.
“So it was a little bit of a strange feeling for us.
“We went into the game expecting to win and we didn’t.
“We look to rectify that this weekend.”
City lie just one place and one point below the Baggies in the table.
And Clarke has been impressed by what he has seen from Malky Mackay’s men in their first-ever Barclays Premier League season.
“I know Malkay through association,” he added.
“He’s a good man, with good tactical nous, and has a good team there.
“They’ve had some great results at home and some really good performances.
“And we expect a tough afternoon, as I’m sure they do.
“Absolutely, they could survive; all the teams have shown that.
“A few weeks ago people had written Palace off but they’re coming back and, I think, by and large, all the teams have shown they can compete.”
Shane Long is 13/2 to score the first goal in tomorrow's game against Cardiff with Sky Bet. To bet now and for more odds, click here