West Brom news

Steve Clarke: No fears over United visit

September 27, 2013
By Ian Edwards

West Bromwich Albion will be without the fear factor when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday, head coach Steve Clarke has said.

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Steve Clarke West Brom
PA PhotosSteve Clarke travels to Old Trafford in optimistic mood.

Clarke said he believed they could return to the Midlands with some reward after their trip to the home of the champions, who have had an erratic start to the season.

"I never understand why people would ask a professional whether they’re going to win or not," he said. "As a professional, I think I'm going to win every single game I go into. If I don't think that, how can I convince the players?

"And I hope every player I've got goes to Old Trafford with the same feeling as me -- that we can win.

"It's a game where the pressure is not on us because everyone expects Manchester United to beat us. But that doesn't mean we don't expect to go there and do well.

"Maybe 99 percent of the country doesn't expect us to go there and do well. But we expect to go there and get a good result."

Clarke said visiting Old Trafford was something that should be relished, explaining: "It's fantastic when you play at these stadiums. It makes you feel good and be ready to play the best you can.

"I don't believe it has a fear factor. I don't hold with feeling nervous or intimidated. You should relish the challenge."

Clarke made it clear there would be changes from the team beaten by Arsenal on penalties in the Capital One Cup, despite encouraging performances by Shane Long, Diego Lugano and the fit-again Steven Reid.

"We used the squad well in midweek and had a good performance, and now I can use the squad again at United," he added. "That's why you ask for a big squad, so you can rotate and keep players fresh for certain games.

"I made eight changes in midweek, and there will be six or seven changes, I would imagine, going into the weekend.

"We will get them together and count the knocks and see who is tired and who is ready to make the contribution at the weekend. I will know more after training."

Strikers Nicolas Anelka and Victor Anichebe are among those under consideration after minor injuries kept them out of the team against the Gunners.

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