Club News

Clarke wary of wounded Eagles

Boss calls on sell-out home crowd to roar team to victory

STEVE Clarke insists his side will not be taking bottom club Crystal Palace lightly when they arrive at The Hawthorns tomorrow (ko 3pm). 

The Eagles have lost eight of their nine Barclays Premier League fixtures and parted company with manager Ian Holloway by mutual consent nine days ago. 

But Albion’s head coach, who confirmed he has no fresh injury concerns, expects Palace to provide tough opposition under the stewardship of caretaker manager Keith Millen. 

“Palace are in a difficult situation just now,” said Clarke, who also revealed that contract talks with Saido Berahino are progressing.

“But I watched their game last week against Arsenal and they were very competitive.

“They’ve had a difficult start and they’ll be looking at this as a game where they can pick up points.

“They’re well motivated and they’re doing their job for Keith.

“There are no easy games in this league and we respect Crystal Palace.

“They’re a team that’s hungry for points and to prove they belong in the Premier League.

“It’s not a game we’ll be taking lightly. It’s a game we’ll be taking very, very seriously.”

The Baggies will be buoyed by a sell-out Hawthorns crowd and Clarke has called on supporters to raise the roof as they attempt to break down the visitors. 

“We always look forward to our home games," he added.

“The crowd are important for us both at home and away.

“We’ve sold out for Saturday and we’re looking forward to benefiting from a strong backing.

“Palace will have good away support, too. It should be a good atmosphere and hopefully a good game.

“The onus will be on us to create chances and have a go and that’s what we’ll try to do.

“It hasn’t quite worked out for Palace yet and we have to make sure it doesn’t work out for them on Saturday, either.

“We have to make sure they leave The Hawthorns disappointed.”