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

I

t's a bloody good goal, though. Sh!t, the kid's gonna be the worlds best before we know it, isn't he? He's got the touch of genius in him. Like Neymar, but with muscles and stuff. He's doing a Ronaldo as we watch. He's bulked up to be able to ride the tackles, but he's improved technically as well. His touch is sublime. Bugger.

HarryBoulton
WATCH: Hazard's stunning goal

A

hhh, Jose arguing with another managers wife, clearest sign yet that we are going mental during the close season. I am rocking back and forth on my haunches.

hump3.
Jose hits back at Rafa's wife

I

t's only a matter of time before one of them throws in a yo mamma

lee
Jose hits back at Rafa's wife

Footer 365

Chelsea fail with £25m bid for Everton's John Stones

Everton have rejected an improved bid of £25m from Chelsea for centre-half John Stones, according to Sky sources.

Jose: 'Cabaye move makes PL harder'

Jose Mourinho claims the transfer of players like Yohan Cabaye to mid-table clubs makes the PL "very, very hard" to win.

Real reopen talks over £28m De Gea deal

Real Madrid have reportedly reopened negotiations with Manchester United over David de Gea and may complete a deal in the coming days.

Mail Box

Mails: This Is My Perfect Moment

Lots of Mailboxers channel their inner Martine McCutcheon to bring you their perfect footballing moments. Plus thoughts on Blatter, names, and Chelsea worries...

Mails: Let's Talk About Jose's Failures...

We don't talk about them because Chelsea won the title...but imagine if LVG or Brendan Rodgers had signed Juan Cuadrado. Plus, a trawl through the squads...

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