Club News

Clarke delighted to give Gunners scare

Boss says his players more than deserved a point

STEVE Clarke felt his team more than deserved their point as they gave in-form Arsenal a real scare in today’s 1-1 Hawthorns draw.

The Baggies – fresh from their sensational 2-1 win at champions Manchester United last weeekend – had Arsene Wenger’s title-chasers rocking on 42 when Claudio Yacob opened the scoring with his first-ever goal for the club.

But Jack Wilshere grabbed a deflected equaliser just past the hour-mark to leave the hosts ruing two missed early second-half chances from Nicolas Anelka to make it 2-0.

“We more than deserved a point,” said Clarke, who also felt his team had legitimate claims for a penalty when Laurent Koscielny clashed with substitute Shane Long late on.

“It was a good game between two very good teams.

“The first-half was a little bit more cagey, where both teams played good football but showed common sense as well by closing the space.

“We managed to get ourselves in front, which was terrific for us.

“At the start of the second half we had a couple of great opportunities to make it 2-0 – and on another day that would have been enough.

“If we’d got the second goal I think we could have nicked all three points.

“But credit to Arsenal, they’re up there for a reason.

“They’ve got good players and they caught us on the counter-attack to get the equaliser.

“It then became a very open game and it must have been good to watch – but not quite so nice to watch from the bench.

“It was a bit nerve-racking.

“But at the end of the day a draw was probably a fair result.

“I’m pleased for the players.

“We played another good game against another top team.

“On the back of what we did last week at Old Trafford – four points from those two games is a good return for us.

“It’s not just the fact we’re getting the results against the top teams – but we’re in the games, we’re competing in the games, and I think we look like a good team.

“And that’s pleasing.”

The Baggies are now unbeaten in four Barclays Premier League games and lie 12th in the table after seven matches – three off seventh spot.

“We’re certainly improving,” added Clarke.

“Nobody here hid from the fact we started the season slowly.

“We did good business at the end of the transfer window.

“We brought in good players and that gave everyone within the club a lift.

“It gave the squad a lift.

“You’ve seen how the level of the team is improving game to game and we’ll try to maintain that improvement for the rest of the season.”