Club News

Clarke has Christmas target in mind

And boss explains what a win at Chelsea would mean to him

STEVE Clarke believes it will be a happy Christmas at The Hawthorns if his men can match their 12-point haul from the last seven games in the build up to the big day.

The Baggies currently lie 11th in the table, having lost just once in the Barclays Premier League since the transfer window closed on September 2.

Now Clarke is looking for a similar return from games against Chelsea, Villa, Newcastle, Manchester City, Norwich, Cardiff and Hull.

“It was a good win against Palace last weekend,” said Clarke.

“Not a vintage performance in difficult conditions on the afternoon.

“But it was a day just to win to get three points.

“It’s important, as and when you have matches you identify as games you should pick up points in, you manage to do that - we’ve done that.

“We have 12 points from our last seven games which, I think, is a decent return.

“If we can take 12 points from the next seven games coming up then, approaching Christmas, we’ll be in a good place.”

The Baggies will tomorrow (ko 3pm) be looking for their first league win on Chelsea soil in 35 years.

And, aside from facing his old friend Jose Mourinho, Clarke is eager for his troops to take the scalp of the second-placed Barclays Premier League side, who lost 2-0 at Newcastle last weekend.

"A win wouldn't mean anything to me other than the fact it's another three points for the Albion,” he added.

“It would be a good scalp to take, winning at Stamford Bridge and beating Chelsea, but that's it.
"I think if we're 100 per cent focused, and concentrated and play at our maximum, then we have an opportunity to compete with any team in the Premier League and that's what we have to focus on.
"Chelsea have very similar personnel to last season.

“Maybe they're a bit more dogged and defend a bit deeper than they did last year at times but they're pretty much the same group of players, so we've got an idea what to expect. 

“But we'll concentrate more on what we can do.
"It's unusual for teams who are going to compete for the title to lose back-to-back Premier League games, so that's our challenge. 

“They did play this week and won against Schalke in the Champions League so they've had a game to get last weekend's defeat at Newcaslte out of their system. 

“It wouldn't have necessarily made it easier for us if they had won at Newcastle, it was always going to be a difficult game."