Upton Park

Next Game

West Ham v W Brom

Thursday, 01 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Britannia Stadium

Last Game

Stoke 2 - 0 W Brom

Sunday, 28 December 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Clarke: It's tough at the top

West Brom manager Steve Clarke admits the last few months have given him a "rude awakening" to the problems encountered by Premier League managers as he prepares his side for the final game of the season with Manchester United on Sunday.

Last Updated: 19/05/13 at 15:57 Post Comment

Steve Clarke: Tough learning curve

Steve Clarke: Tough learning curve

The Baggies were in with a chance of securing a European place after the first half of the season before falling away badly in the second half.

Clarke also had to deal with problems associated with the January transfer window, in particular striker Peter Odemwingie's unsuccessful attempt to join QPR, which altered his perception of what managing a top-flight club entails.

"'Enjoy' is not a word I use very often but it's been a great challenge," said Clarke.

"In the first half of the season I thought it was the easiest job in the world. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.

"In the second half of the season I had a rude awakening with different problems and different things to consider.

"You have to learn how to react to events. Hopefully I've learned a lot this year and I'll try to learn even more next year. I learned more from the second half of the season, without a doubt."

The Scotsman admitted he would learn from his experiences but insisted the club had enjoyed a positive season overall, despite struggling in 2013.

"The second half was more like I expected, with more problems, the transfer window to deal with, the lack of depth in the squad and the lack of quality in the squad at times when your squad gets stretched over that winter period," he added.

"We were stretched to the maximum and in the second half of the season we had a lot more tired bodies.

"Going out of the cup competitions early affected us too, especially going out of the FA Cup because we ended up with too many free weekends, combined with the international breaks.

"We struggled to maintain that rhythm and that's something we will have to look at next season.

"It's not been a good finish to the season but we must have done something right in the early part of the season in that we never looked close to being dragged into the relegation tussle and there were a lot of teams involved this season and we were nowhere near it.

"We've finished in the top half of the table again, so I think it's wrong to just analyse the last eight weeks and say everything is terrible because it's not. There's a lot of good in our club and there's a lot of good players."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Premier League: Sam Allardyce accuses referee of guessing wrongly over disallowed Alex Song goal

Sam Allarydce criticised referee Neil Swarbrick for disallowing a goal after West Ham were defeated 2-1 by Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are showing signs of consistency after West Ham win

Arsene Wenger said Arsenal are heading in the right direction after seeing them hold on for a 2-1 win over West Ham.

Premier League: Newcastle overcome Everton 3-2 thanks to Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback

Newcastle overcame Everton 3-2 at St James' Park thanks to goals from Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property