Etihad Stadium

Next Game

Man City v West Brom

Monday, 21 April 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

The Hawthorns

Last Game

West Brom 3 - 3 Tottenham

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 15:07

Barclays Prem

Clarke: We'll be even better

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is confident his side can emulate their success of last season and has no fears of the so-called second season syndrome.

Last Updated: 17/08/13 at 14:15 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  West Brom Specials. Click here to bet.

Steve Clarke: Confident of a strong start

Steve Clarke: Confident of a strong start

In his first season in charge, Clarke led West Brom to eighth in the Premier League last term - their best-ever Premier League finish.

The former Chelsea assistant, who is in his first managerial post, will have his work cut out to repeat that feat this season, especially given that striker Romelu Lukaku - scorer of 17 goals for them while on loan from Chelsea last season, but now back with his parent club - is not at their disposal.

But the 49-year-old is optimistic they can maintain last season's form, starting with opening league clash with Southampton at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

"I'm not sure I understand second season syndrome - it is another phrase the media uses," Clarke said. "For me, this is about trying to emulate what we did last season - to be a team that is positive and tries to win football matches.

"The more we can win the more points we will get and with that follows the success for the club. That is all you can do.

"I don't sit here and worry about the fact it is the second season.

"I have learned some lessons from last year and hopefully I can put them into practice this year and you'll see a better and stronger West Bromwich Albion."

Clarke's new additions this summer are strikers Nicolas Anelka and Matej Vydra and defender Diego Lugano, and he hopes to bring in two or three more players, including Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair.

Asked about specific league targets, Clarke said: "I think it is always dangerous to set targets too early.

"The first target is to try to win on Saturday. I know it is boring, but that is the only way it can be."

Last term, West Brom began by defeating Liverpool 3-0 at home, the first of 10 victories in their opening 19 league fixtures - which were followed by only four in their final 19.

Clarke has stressed that while he is keen for another good start this time out, a bad one should not necessarily be viewed as a disaster, given it is only the points tally at the end of the season that really matters.

"If you win your first few games, it's great - you can push on from there," said Clarke, whose side's two league fixtures after Southampton see them face Everton away and Swansea at home.

"But it is not always possible to do that. So as I said last season - it doesn't matter when you get your points. The only thing that is important in a Premier League season is that you do get your points.

"We will be trying as hard as we can to win our first three games before the next international break and if we can do that, it sets us up for a good season.

"But if we can't do it, it doesn't mean to say you are going to have a bad season, because there are so many games still to be played."

Bet with SkyBet  West Brom Specials. Click here to bet.

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Transfer news: Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino warns off Luke Shaw suitors

Mauricio Pochettino says in-demand defender Luke Shaw will be staying at Southampton.

Premier League: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers targets win at Norwich

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Sunderland's draw with Manchester City is a "warning sign" for his side.

Transfer news: Schalke's Julian Draxler set to stay put, insists chairman

Clemens Tonnies says it would take "something extraordinary" for Julian Draxler to leave Schalke this summer.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

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