Club News

Boss: Yacob's back to his best

Clarke delighted with midfielder's response

STEVE Clarke believes Claudio Yacob is showing the form that saw him rise to prominence last term.

The Argentina international was left out of the starting XI for last month's 3-0 win over Sunderland due to tactical reasons.

But he came on in the 69th minute and has been ever-present since - even scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with league leaders Arsenal.

"Claudio was another who came in last season and hit the ground running," said Clarke.

"He settled in quickly, he got great rhythm with the team and picked up an injury which cost him about ten weeks or so. 

"It was an injury which shouldn't have been a ten-week injury but that's the way it turned out maybe because we thought it wasn't as serious at the start. 

"He missed a big chunk of the season and he was scratching a bit for his form, which can happen. 

"The South American season is also split into two definite slots. 

"With the break around that time perhaps Claudio just didn't get back up to speed of where we wanted him to be during the second half of the season. 

"He still put in some performances but he didn't have that run of consistently high performances.

"He's worked hard over the summer, he's in good physical shape and we can see he's in a good place now."

The Baggies boss added: "I don't know if not starting [against Sunderland] was the catalyst - I'm certainly not going to take any credit for it! 

"But that game I wanted a more attacking player to play as part of that team. 

"That was my decision - I wanted James [Morrison] to play as he's a more attacking player - but Claudio responded in the right way. 

"That's what all the lads will have to do in the future."