Club News

Clarke: My job's getting trickier

Boss finding selection tough from embarrassment of riches

STEVE Clarke admits it is proving tough to pick his bench each week - let alone his starting XI!

Star signing Nicolas Anelka had to settle for a bench berth in Saturday's goalless draw at a Stoke - while the likes of Graham Dorrans, Markus Rosenberg, Goran Popov, Diego Lugano and Steven Reid missed out altogether.

And it will only get harder for the Baggies boss, with injured quartet Scott Sinclair, Ben Foster, Zoltan Gera and George Thorne all edging closer to fitness.

"I've got a good squad of players that means, at different times, different people will start and different people will come into the games," said Clarke.

"You look at the bench and the bench is really strong, and you look at the players I didn't even bring. 

"So we have a really strong squad and at times players will have to miss a week, maybe a couple of weeks. 

"Nicolas' answer was to come on and do well.

"We made some changes and the boys who came into the game certainly contributed to us having a strong finish to the game.

"That's why we've been building a strong squad here at the Albion.

"The hardest part for me is picking the team. 

"But now also picking the bench is difficult - and choosing who to leave behind.

"I was without five senior players who didn't even travel.

"I need to manage the players and make sure I get the best from them, even if they are not involved.

"That's my job as head coach, and I need to do that to the best of my ability so when they are selected they are ready to go."