And boss surprised to see Norwich in relegation dogfightSTEVE Clarke believes his players can come away with a positive result from Carrow Road on Sunday (ko 3pm) if they can match the performances of their last two trips on the road.
The Baggies romped to a 3-0 win at Southampton 13 days ago and pushed last season’s champions Manchester City all the way in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
Albion now take on a 16th-placed Norwich side fighting for their Barclays Premier League lives, just three points above the drop zone, with two games remaining.
And Clarke will be sending his troops out for the victory to carry them over the 50-point mark and take a big step towards securing eighth spot.
“It’s a good game this week,” he said.
“We had a good game at home to Wigan last weekend.
“It was an open game, an attractive game, and Wigan got the breaks on the day.
“They managed to beat us 3-2, which kept a lot of teams in trouble.
“Wigan losing in midweek has released a little bit of pressure on some of the teams – but Norwich are not one of those teams.
“They are still under pressure and certainly need to get something from the game at the weekend.
“We can go there with the freedom to play.
“We did a lot of good work earlier in the season to put ourselves in a really good position where we’re not involved in the scrap at the bottom.
“We’ll go there and play with a good attitude.
“We’ll try our best to win the game because that’s what we always do.
“We still have our own ambitions.
“We want to finish with 50 points and we want to secure eighth spot.
“If we win on Sunday that will take us over the 50-point barrier and I think it will just about secure a top-eight finish as well, which for us would be a fantastic achievement.
“It’s up to us to go there and put on a good show.
“Our last two away games at Southampton and Manchester City were really good performances.
“If we go there and repeat those performances I think we can get a positive result.”
When the two sides met at The Hawthorns in December Zoltan Gera and Romelu Lukaku goals saw the Baggies come from behind to end the Canaries’ proud ten-game unbeaten league run.
And Clarke admits it is a surprise to see the Norfolk outfit down at the wrong end of the table.
“I’m a little bit surprised they are where they are,” Clarke added.
“I thought when they came here they were a good team.
“They were on a great run at that time.
“But the Barclays Premier League is a difficult league, when you go on a run and you can’t get wins, suddenly two or three games can become five or six games, and it can be difficult to break that run.
“It’s a little bit like that for Norwich right now.
“But they’ll look at the game at the weekend as a cup final and their chance to get the one or three points that would probably secure their status for next season.”