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Clarke calls for WBA work rate

Steve Clarke has told his West Brom side there will be no substitute for hard work as they look to turn around a "painful" run of results.

Last Updated: 08/12/13 at 13:42 Post Comment   

Steve Clarke: Targeting a turn around in results

Steve Clarke: Targeting a turn around in results

The Baggies' 2-0 home defeat to Norwich was their third in succession after previous losses to Newcastle and Manchester City, although Albion had more than enough chances to take at least a point against the Canaries.

It also extended a longer sequence of just one win from their last nine Premier League games and leaves them just two points above the relegation zone.

West Brom's next two matches are against Cardiff and at home to Hull and Clarke has told his players they need to roll up their sleeves in order to get their season back on track.

"There is no other way," he said.

"It's been a difficult week for us. Three defeats in a week is sore, it's painful, it's hard to take but next week we have to go to Cardiff, we have to be resilient and we have to start getting points on the board.

"There is no easy solution.

"This was two teams who had not been getting the best results recently, feeling each other out. From nowhere they got that first goal, it gave them something to hang on to and set us back a bit."

That first Norwich goal came courtesy of a superb finish from Gary Hooper, who raced away from Diego Lugano - the Uruguayan defender's hesitant performance will surely have caught England manager Roy Hodgson's eye - onto a Leroy Fer pass to smash an unstoppable drive beyond Boaz Myhill.

It was the former Celtic striker's third Premier League goal, and his fifth in total, and manager Chris Hughton believes the 25-year-old is starting to find his best form after an injury-hit start to life at Carrow Road.

"He is now physically fit. As a striker, to get injured one week before the start of the season when you have just arrived makes it very difficult. But Gary is one who if we provide him with champions will score goals.

"His CV shows he is someone who is a very good finisher but of course you have to have opportunities so we have to give him a service that will allow him to do that."

A clean sheet was also more than welcome for the Canaries, who shipped five goals to a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool in midweek, and were handed a seven-goal drubbing by Manchester City at the start of November.

Hughton hopes his side can now find some consistency at the back.

He said: "It's a balancing act, we have brought in a few new players. During our best period last season we had a very consistent back four and midfield four.

"But we found it tough from Christmas onwards. It's something we have to work on but there is a balance between being a good team defensively and having what it takes to win games."

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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...

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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.

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