Old Trafford

Next Game

Man Utd v W Brom

Saturday, 02 May 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

The Hawthorns

Last Game

W Brom 0 - 0 Liverpool

Saturday, 25 April 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

McAuley earns Clarke praise

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has paid tribute to Gareth McAuley and admitted it is surprising the centre-back had to wait so long to make his Premier League breakthrough.

Last Updated: 08/12/12 at 21:58 Post Comment

Gareth McAuley: Has managed to make the step up to the Premier League towards th

Gareth McAuley: Has managed to make the step up to the Premier League towards th

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Northern Ireland international McAuley, 32, has played a key role in establishing Albion in the top flight via his partnership with Jonas Olsson at the heart of the back four.

But McAuley's entire career was spent outside of the Premier League before Roy Hodgson brought him to The Hawthorns on a free transfer from Ipswich 18 months ago.

Clarke believes there are other bargains to be found in the lower leagues but that there is a reluctance from some clubs to delve into that area of the footballing pyramid.

He said: "When you see how well Gareth has done, and how well he's acquitted himself to the Premier League, I am surprised he stayed under the radar for so long.

"Is there a reluctance to take a gamble? I don't think there is a reluctance on the part of our club, but maybe from others.

"Some of the bigger clubs, in inverted commas, look elsewhere for their talent but it is possible they are missing out on a good find from the lower leagues.

"I think the example of Gareth also gives hopes to people in the lower leagues.

"The players that have been stuck down in the lower leagues for ages may think there's not a way up - but there is a way up. If you get the breaks, Gareth has shown you can do that."

Clarke added: "If you watch Gareth week in, week out, you can see what he brings to the team. He's a good, honest, old-fashioned central defender.

"He puts his head in where it hurts, wins his tackles, makes his interceptions and keeps the game simple.

"He's got a real hunger because he did come into the game late and he's got his chance at the top level late.

"He's got a real hunger and desire to do well every game and that's a fantastic attribute to have."

Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

League Two round-up: Tranmere and Cheltenham relegated to Conference

Shrewsbury secured promotion to League One by beating Cheltenham, whose relegation fate was sealed along with Tranmere.

Liverpool were 'outstanding', says boss Brendan Rodgers after West Brom draw

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool were 'outstanding' after their 0-0 draw against West Brom.

Man City 3-2 Aston Villa: Brad Guzan drops howler before Fernandinho strikes late as City go second

Fernandinho struck in the 89th minute to hand Manchester City a dramatic 3-2 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

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