West Brom news

West Brom wary of QPR threat

December 26, 2012
By David Instone

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke has warned his players against a QPR backlash in their game at Loftus Road on Wednesday.

Steve Clarke West Brom close up
GettyImagesSteve Clarke is in favour of giving young English talent a chance

Harry Redknapp's side went into Christmas on a disappointing note when beaten at Newcastle on Saturday. But Clarke believes the Londoners' victory over Fulham in their last home game has more relevance to this clash.

"They have got their first win of the season and we are playing them on the back of that," he said. "They will be buoyed by the fact they won their last home game.

"Harry has been in charge for five games and they have only lost only one and he has got the first win on the board. We have to go there and be strong mentally because they are fighting for their lives.

"But we also have to try to impose our style of football on them and get another positive result."

Clarke admits he's shocked that the side - managed for the first three months of the season by Mark Hughes - find themselves in big danger of relegation 19 months on from their return to the top flight.

"It's a surprise to me that Rangers are where they are in the table," he added. "They made a significant investment over the summer and it didn't work out, so they have had to change the manager."

With Youssouf Mulumbu available again after a one-match suspension and fellow midfielder Claudio Yakob hoping to have recovered in time from a hamstring injury, Clarke is set to tinker further with his line-up. And he has promised to carry on ringing the changes, with a trip to Manchester United to come on Saturday and a home game with Fulham on New Year's Day.

"When we play three games in a short period of time, I utilise the whole squad and that's certainly something I'll be doing over the next few games," he said. "If I do make changes, I have no doubt the players who come in will perform.

"You don't like being on a run not winning, especially with the success we had earlier in the season. November was a great month and we had just stuttered a bit (before beating Norwich). Now we look forward to two away fixtures against QPR and Manchester United."

Clarke believes that keeper Ben Foster - blamed in some quarters for Robert Snodgrass's latest free-kick special at the weekend - will be all the better for his first senior game since injury forced him out of action at the start of November.