Club News

Boss: We owe Hawthorns hordes

And Clarke mulls over options with near-fully fit squad to choose from

STEVE Clarke has told his players they owe it to the fans to secure a home victory over Sunderland tomorrow (ko 3pm).

The Baggies took 22 points from their opening 30 available at The Hawthorns but have not since won there in two months.

After his side’s magnificent 2-0 win at Anfield 11 days ago, the Albion boss is eager to get his side back on track on their own patch.

And, apart from long-term injured duo Zoltan Gera and George Thorne (both knee), and Goran Popov (suspended), Clarke has a full squad to choose from against the Black Cats.

“It’s certainly time to win at home – it’s been too long,” he said.

“We had a great start to the season at home and The Hawthorns was a really difficult place for teams to come.

“It’s still a difficult place for teams to come but we haven’t been getting the results or the wins.

“And I think we owe it to the fans to put on a good show and get three more points on the board."

He added: “There is obviously a temptation to leave things as they are after such a good result.

“But there is obviously the fact we’re playing at home and maybe we can look to be a bit more adventurous than how we started the game at Anfield.

“I’ve got different options that I’m thinking about and we’ve worked on a couple of different things in training this week.

“I’ll need to sleep on it overnight and then wake up in the morning and decide the best way to go.”

While the Mackems went away for warm-weather training in Dubai during the long break between games, the Baggies boss chose to allow his troops to make their own arrangements when it came to recharging their batteries in the week following the win over the Reds.

“Some teams like to go away as a group and some managers like to take their players away to the warm weather,” he said.

“Rather than doing that we gave our players the option to stay with their families in the UK or they had enough time to go away and catch some sunshine if they wanted to.

“We did it a slightly different way but I’m sure the end result will be the same – and that’s a fresh group of players.

“Hopefully you’ll see two fresh teams on Saturday and a good, exciting game.”