Club News

Boss all smiles for debut duo

Clarke praises matchwinners Sessegnon and Amalfitano, plus explains Brunt absence

STEVE Clarke insists he is happy for Stephane Sessegnon to leave the celebrations to him as long as he keeps firing the goals.

The Baggies’ record signing shone on his debut as he netted the opener in today’s 3-0 win over Sunderland.

But out of respect to his former club - where he spent the last two seasons - the Benin international chose not to celebrate his goal.

Clarke said: “You know if you play someone against their former club, and they’re an attacking player, and their job is to score and create goals, there is a possibility they will score.

“He did what we brought him here to do.

“He’s clever on the ball, he’s bright, he’s an entertainer, and he’s got some goals in him as well, so it was a pleasing debut for him.

“He doesn’t smile much, he smiles less than me to be honest!

“I think he showed good respect to Sunderland.

“The Sunderland fans loved him as a player.

“In his own way he is quite an engaging character – and he chose not to celebrate, so that’s fine.

“If he wants it so I celebrate more than him, I’m happy with that every week!

“Hopefully it’s the first of many goals he scores for West Brom.”

Sessegnon left the field to huge applause in the 89th minute – but it was Hawthorns debutant Morgan Amalfitano who took the man-of-the-match honours.

And - after playing a huge part in setting up two goals and scoring another – Clarke has urged the on-loan Marseille man to continue living up to those standards.

“I said when we brought Morgan into the club he might surprise one or two people,” he added.

“He’s a clever player. He’s not an out-and-out winger but he knows the wide role.

“One of the reasons we bought him is because his record of assists in the French league is good.

“And today he had a hand in both the first goals – a big hand in the second – and got the little bonus that he scored at the end as well to put the icing on the cake.

“To make a home debut like that is good and I hope he can live up to it in the future.”

Clarke also revealed skipper Chris Brunt missed today’s clash with the Black Cats due to a groin injury he suffered in training during the week.