West Brom manager Steve Clarke demands response after Swansea defeat

Excellent run comes to abrupt end in south Wales

West Brom manager Steve Clarke expects a response from his side after seeing them taken apart by Swansea.

The high-flying Baggies were grounded by a superb first-half display from the Swans as a strike from Michu and a Wayne Routledge double gave them a 3-0 lead.

Romelu Lukaku pulled a goal back in first-half stoppage time for the visitors but that was as good as it got for Clarke's side.

Albion have been the Premier League's surprise package so far this season, and a run of four wins had moved them above Chelsea into third place before their dismantling in south Wales.

Former Liverpool and Chelsea coach Clarke admitted his side's poor display had caught him off-guard, but hopes an improved, battling second half at the Liberty Stadium will pave the way for them to get back on track against Stoke on Saturday.

"If we had got it to 3-2 it may have been different but we didn't and I can sit here and say we deserved to lose," said the Scot.

"The players put themselves in a hole and in the second half I challenged them to get out of the situation and to be fair they did that.

"We had a chat about what we did wrong, and what we needed to do better and they did do better."

Clarke, who expects to have Zoltan Gera and Steven Reid available against the Potters, insisted over-confidence had not played a part in the Baggies defeat.

"The players know, and our fans are knowledgeable enough to know, it is a tough league and you will have days like this and I am looking forward to Saturday to see a response.

"Of course we want to bounce back, we didn't play well in the first 45 minutes but we responded at half-time, that is football - some games you win, some you lose - but we move on."

Michael Laudrup's Swans are now up to eighth in the table and have lost just one of their last nine games in all competitions.

The Dane's decision to field Nathan Dyer, Routledge and Pablo Hernandez in the same starting XI for the first time paid off handsomely as the trio's pace, guile and movement tormented the visitors.

Laudrup is unsure whether his side can replicate the level of performance shown in the opening 45 minutes, but is glad they can head to face Arsenal on Saturday with the pressure off.

"I don't know if it is possible to repeat the first half performance but at least we know we can do better than our best and it pleases me a lot.

"We are doing these things in training day in day out so it is not something that just happens, but to play at that level for 45 minutes, everyone has to be at their best and that is not always possible. But it's nice to see what we can do.

"It is a different game on Saturday, we go up against a very good side with great players who play very well with the ball.

"But it is good for us, there is no pressure on us at all, we go there as underdogs and everyone will expect Arsenal to win, but we go there with four points this week against Liverpool and West Brom so we can go there with confidence."

PA

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

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most