Club News

Boss: Set-backs can galvanise us

And Clarke relishing challenge of facing fourth-placed Spurs

STEVE Clarke hopes the tough events of this week and drawing a line under a disappointing January will galvanise his troops in Sunday’s home clash with Tottenham (ko 1.30pm).

The Baggies failed to win a game last month and picked up just one point from their four Barclays Premier League encounters.

But he insists his ninth-placed team can still make it a memorable season and is relishing the challenge of taking on fourth-placed Spurs.

“November was a really good month for us,” said Clarke.

“December was average and January has been a really poor month for us, so I’m glad it’s February and we can try and move on.

“The players have lost a little bit of confidence – it happens when you lose games.

“Some of the performances have been okay but we haven’t got the results.

“It’s time for us as a group of players, me and my staff to rally round.

“Maybe we can even use some of the events that have unfolded this week as a stimulus to try and look forward and get back to the form we were in earlier in the season.

“It can be difficult sometimes just to pick your form up straight away but somehow we need to find a way of getting results.

“The quicker we do that, the quicker we get to our first target, which is still 40 points, and we can reassess then and see how many points we can accumulate.

“We still have the possibility to make this a very, very good season for West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

“And that’s what we’re all going to endeavour to do over the next few weeks.”

The Albion chief will come up against a familiar face in the opposition dugout, having worked with Tottenham boss Andre Villas Boas at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho.

And he has been impressed with the way the Portuguese coach has got his team, who are eight top-flight games unbeaten, playing.

“Andre is a good coach,” Clarke added.

“He had a difficult time at Chelsea and I’m pleased he got the chance to come back in at Tottenham.

“He’s done really well with a fantastic group of players.

“He has come in and done his job really well.

“The team play good football, they’ve got some fantastic individuals and it’s a great challenge for us.

“It’s a game I think most people will expect Tottenham to win.

“But they’re coming to The Hawthorns where we have got a really good record this year.

“And it’s a challenge my players are ready for.”