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Mulumbu out as boss issues challenge

2 December 2013

Key midfielder suspended for City clash

STEVE Clarke insists his squad can cope with the loss of Youssouf Mulumbu against Manchester City on Wednesday (ko 8pm) – as he challenged his men to bounce back in style.

The Baggies boss will be without the DR Congo international as he serves a one-match ban for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Newcastle.

But, having pulled off a shock 2-1 win at Old Trafford in September, Clarke has his eye on extending Albion’s unbeaten home league record to five games by completing a Manchester double.

“Youssouf’s picked up his fifth yellow,” he said.

“But I think, with the number of games to play in December, it was inevitable in one of them he would pick up a fifth yellow card.

“We have a squad of players we have built over the summer – it’s a good strong squad – and we’ll have to cope without Youssouf.”

He added: “Manchester City at home is a great game to bounce back in.

“We look forward to the big teams coming down to The Hawthorns and playing against them.

“It’s a big challenge for us but I’ve challenged the lads already to get the three points.

“It would be nice to do a Manchester double.

“Not many teams will do that this year and we’re in a position where we can do it, so that’s always a positive.

“We’re unbeaten in four at home and we’ll look to continue that on Wednesday against City.”

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