Clarke eyes squad rotation

West Brom boss Steve Clarke admits he will have to utilise his entire squad as they prepare for a busy festive fixture list.

Last Updated: 05/12/12 at 12:10 Post Comment

Steve Clarke: Is gearing up for a hectic run of fixtures over Christmas

Steve Clarke: Is gearing up for a hectic run of fixtures over Christmas

The high-flying Baggies face a run of six Premier League games in 31 days as they bid to maintain a run of form that has lifted them up to fifth in the table.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea assistant has used 21 players so far this season but has told his squad that everyone will have to play their part in the coming weeks.

He also sent a message to those players who have not featured regularly so far this campaign, revealing they will be an important asset in the season run-in when tiredness and fatigue can be an issue.

"This is when the squad will be tested," Clarke told the club's official website. "They will all be asked to step forward and make their contribution, that up until now, they have all made.

"We have got a good squad with good depth and over the coming weeks it will be used and tested to the maximum.

"There is a group that have played a third of the playing time or upwards and we're in good shape in terms of where we are fitness-wise and availability and having people ready to play.

"As we get to the latter stages of the season, hopefully we'll have players who are really fresh and they can keep the momentum going - that is the key of having a good squad."

Successive defeats against Swansea and Stoke have checked the Baggies' momentum in recent weeks after briefly going as high as third in the table following a 4-2 win at Sunderland on November 24.

Clarke though insists morale remains high in the camp and admits he would have gladly taken their current points haul of 26 had it been offered to him in August.

"I think the spirit at the club should be high at the moment and I said that to the players after the game on Saturday," he added.

"We were disappointed to lose but all I said was that they should be pleased with their efforts given where we are in the league.

"If at this stage in the season you'd have said that we'd have 26 points and we'd be level on points with Chelsea and Tottenham, towards the top of the league, they would have grabbed that.

"I've tried to tell the players that we're not in a bad place and we have to remain positive. In football you can lose games and we could lose the next game but we're still not in a bad position.

"There's no way we can allow negative thoughts to come into our heads."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

o Brendan is full of sh!t, who'd have thought it eh?

fatbob30
Carroll accuses Rodgers

P

resumably, you wanted to keep the version of Downing that was never seen at Anfield. The one that another manager has managed to re-create. The one you passed over.

badwolf
Rodgers: I wanted to keep Downing

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

Footer 365

Nemanja Matic says Chelsea happy to maintain their five-point Premier League lead

Midfielder Nemanja Matic was happy to take a point after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Manchester City.

Roberto Martinez delighted with 'immense' Everton's 1-0 win at Crystal Palace

Roberto Martinez believes his side can now reach their true potential after ending their winless run at Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Chelsea maintain five-point lead after 1-1 draw with Manchester City

Chelsea remain five points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 1-1 draw with second-placed Manchester City.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company