West Ham vs West Brom preview: Baggies coach Steve Clarke says Sam Allardyce deserves a new contract at Upton Park

 

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke insists his side still have plenty to play for during the next two months and will not allow the season to fizzle out.

The Baggies are assured of a fourth successive season of Barclays Premier League football and have only a remote chance of securing a Europa League spot.

But Clarke is adamant his players will not rest on their laurels ahead of tomorrow's encounter with West Ham at Upton Park.

Former West Ham number two Clarke said: "We are professional, we want to finish as high as we can with as many points as we can.

"The next target for us is to get more points than we did in the last two seasons which is 47.

"If we win at the weekend we will equal that, and it will give us seven games to better it.

"For anyone to question our commitment or our desire to do well for the last eight games is wrong."

Clarke believes the Hammers are starting to see the best of Joe Cole whom he worked with when assistant-boss of Chelsea and Liverpool.

Cole returned to the Hammers in January after a loan spell last season with Lille.

Clarke said: "I think Joe has had a great career. Good boy, good to work with. Worked with him at Chelsea, he was good.

"We had a very brief spell together at Liverpool where it was difficult for Joe. He wasn't at his best.

"He took a year out at France. I think it went very well for him over there.

"He's come back, he has gone home to West Ham. From what I have seen of him in recent games, he's played well.

"He looks comfortable in the team and understands his role in the team. He will be a difficult opponent but one of many they can put on the pitch."

Clarke added: "I was a little bit surprised it didn't work out for him at Liverpool. When you have got that talent, you hope it is going to work out for you.

"He is not the first player to make a move and it has not worked out for. I think he has bounced back well."

Clarke, who worked under Gianfranco Zola at Upton Park, believes current manager Sam Allardyce deserves a new contract.

He said: "I enjoyed my time at West Ham. It was good. The second season was difficult. I learned a lot.

"It stood me in good stead for the job I am doing here.

"As for Sam, he always does a good job. Wherever he goes, he gets his teams playing the way he wants them to play and gets good results.

"Should he get a new contract? I would think so, but you would have to ask the West Ham owners."

Clarke confirmed striker Peter Odemwingie will be part of the squad against West Ham despite his latest round of Twitter attacks against the Baggies which are being investigated internally.

Midfielder James Morrison is West Brom's major fresh injury concern.

He suffered a hamstring injury during the goalless draw against Stoke a fortnight ago and was forced to withdraw from international duty with Scotland.

 

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
people

Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
Life and Style
Passing on: George Washington died alert, aware and in his own bed. This is the kind of of death most people would like to have
health
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tv
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
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

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game