Albion went into the two-week break bottom of the table - a far cry from last season when they were third after three games.
James Morrison is still struggling with the groin injury which kept him out of Scotland's World Cup qualifiers and is likely to miss Saturday's trip to Fulham along with Matej Vydra (hamstring).
But new signings Lee Camp, Stephane Sessegnon, Victor Anichebe and Morgan Amalfitano have all joined since the club's home defeat to Swansea, and Clarke is hopeful of an improvement in results.
He said: "This year the international break came at a good time. Last year we were a bit disappointed it came when it did because we had started well.
"It's nice to have got a little breather, with a number of boys away on international duty and after having a busy transfer deadline day.
"Camp, Anichebe and Amalfitano have been able to train with the group. We're definitely in a better place as a squad. We're stronger and competitive. We need to get them working together and picking up points.
"The deadline day was good for us. We've got some good players in and hopefully that will show very quickly in the results.
"We've been looking for more creativity and we have to rectify that in the coming games and hopefully we'll see some positive signs on Saturday of what we've been trying to do on the training ground.
"Only Victor has probably not had enough minutes on the pitch, but Stephane has played for Sunderland and Morgan has played at Marseille. So those boys, if not ready to go this weekend, will certainly very, very quickly be up to speed."
Shane Long saw a deadline-day move to Hull break down, and Clarke said: "Shane is a very, very important member of our squad.
"I've always said that. I said it all through last season and ever since I came in. He's here, and I'm delighted he's here. Shane has got a big contribution to make this season."