Steve Clarke expects response from West Brom after recent stutter

The Baggies visit Arsenal tomorrow

Steve Clarke expects a positive response from West Brom after their mini-slump but insists what they achieve over an entire season is how success or failure should be judged.

The Baggies visit Arsenal tomorrow looking to bounce back from successive defeats against Swansea and Stoke after previously climbing to third spot in the Barclays Premier League.

It has led to critics questioning whether Albion have the credentials to sustain their flying start although Clarke is adamant there have been no idle boasts from within the squad.

Head coach Clarke said: "I'm not looking for a response, I'm expecting it because that's what they've done before.

"We've had two defeats before this season, then we lost two games in the space of four days last week.

"It is not a disaster in terms of the whole picture and what we are trying to do this season.

"It is the Premier League and it is a difficult place to win week in and week out.

"Even the top sides don't win every week. There is no reason to expect you should win every game.

"It's a league where you can have a run of difficult results. Our aim is to make sure we get back on a positive footing as soon as possible with a good performance at the Emirates this weekend."

Clarke added: "We've never said that we are a top-six side, we've never said anything about the team.

"All we've said is that we are a good, honest, hard-working bunch, we know we can compete in the Premier League and we try to do that every week.

"We haven't tried to pigeonhole ourselves at all.

"We are working towards the whole season - not a bunch of five or six fixtures. We work towards the points total for the whole season."

Clarke expects Albion to hold on to their key players during the January transfer window and is reluctant to comment on speculation regarding the future of any of his players.

He said: "I haven't got any thoughts on January. There is too much idle speculation goes around this time of year.

"People are allowed to link one player or this player with the club and it just goes around in a circle.

"If I give credence to every story that comes up, we would be here talking all day.

"As far as I'm concerned, January will take care of itself. I'm happy with the squad I've got. I'll have that squad in January.

"I might lose one or two (Peter Odemwingie and Youssouf Mulumbu) to the African Nations Cup but I'm happy with what I've got here to cover it.

"I don't think anyone is going to be leaving this club in January."

Arsenal have slipped to 10th spot in the Premier League and Clarke believes they are one of several teams who have not been as tight defensively this season.

He said: "I think they are a good team, they've got good players and an excellent manager.

"No team has got a god-given right to win matches. Arsenal have had a tricky run of late. I watched quite a lot of their recent performances because I need to know what they are about.

"Their performances have been okay but they haven't had the results.

"Arsenal are like a number of other clubs this year in that there have been a number of goals shipped in the Premier League.

"Defending now is not such a strong art as it used to be.

"Teams have changed, are a little bit more attack-minded, teams are playing for the wins and the games are a little bit more open.

"But most teams in the league now, they ship a few more goals than they would have done before."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?