Club News

Clarke relishing motivational task

Boss says pressure for first-team places is on

STEVE Clarke admits he has got a major task on his hands to keep all his players motivated as the season progresses.

The Baggies pulled off a stunning 2-1 win at champions Manchester United on Saturday, with several key players missing through injury heading into the Old Trafford clash.

As they return from the treatment room this week, competition for places is hotting up  and Clarke is relishing the selection headaches that await him.

“It’s going to be great,” he said.

“We’ll have a big squad with lots of players all wanting to play.

“Everybody shows in training that they want to play and the people who played in the Capital One Cup against Arsenal showed they wanted to play.

“So we have great competition for places and the job is to keep everybody motivated.

“Now, being out of the League Cup, is harder. It’s a game we could have done with in October.

“We could have done with another competitive cup game.

“My job is to make sure that all the players stay motivated and involved - and at times that will be difficult for them.

“But they will just have to accept the fact they are part of a good squad of players that we think will be really competitive in the Premier League.

“I’ve said before that all they can do is work hard in training and make sure when they’re selected they are ready to take their chance, because if they don’t they might not get selected again.

“That is the pressure of playing in a big squad.”