Baggies' boss' message to players ahead of 'massive' derby
STEVE Clarke has called on his players to take any lingering frustrations from their controversial 2-2 draw at Chelsea out on Villa in what he has described as a ‘massive’ clash on Monday (ko 8pm).
The Baggies were cruelly denied a famous victory at Stamford Bridge due to a hotly-disputed last-gasp penalty.
Clarke has been eager to move on from that and is relishing the opportunity to get his teeth into a highly-anticipated Hawthorns derby that will bring to an end a wait of more than a fortnight for a game.
“If we can use the frustration to kick on and get the points against Villa then fine,” he said, as his men look to extend their unbeaten run against the claret-and-blues to six games.
“But the players are all experienced enough to know that you can’t dwell on the previous game, you have to look forward to the next one.
“Chelsea’s gone and we have to move on.
“The next game isn't a small game either - it's massive.
“It's a big game, we're looking forward to it.
“It’s just a shame we didn’t have a game quickly after; we’ve had to sit on it for more than two weeks.”
He added: “I haven't paid too much attention to the Chelsea game.
“I looked at the game again; the performance was good.
“We just have to make sure we take the positives out of the game and take them into the Villa game.
“It’s nice to put it to bed and get ready for Monday night, which is a tremendous game for everybody involved.”