Clarke keeps Baggies ambition in check

Manager Steve Clarke insists West Brom will "not get ahead of ourselves" in terms of new year ambitions, despite a successful first half of the campaign.

Spot on!

The Baggies have built on their top 10 finishes in the Barclays Premier League the previous two seasons by collecting 33 points from the opening 20 matches.

They even enjoyed a brief spell in third spot and are lying seventh in the table ahead of Tuesday lunchtime's home encounter with Fulham.

But Clarke knows the up and down nature of football means he will not start making lofty predictions.

He said: "Three weeks ago people were telling us we couldn't score a goal and we couldn't win a game.

"We lost three matches in a row and didn't score for five hours, so in this game things can turn very quickly.

"We still have seven points to get before we get to our first target. It would be remiss of us to get ahead of ourselves now having played it down all season.

"We need to make sure we get to that target. The second target, if you want to go back to my very first press conference, was to achieve 50 points.

"First we will try to get to 40, then 50. But first I want three points against Fulham."

Clarke has challenged his players to bury the memory of a 3-0 drubbing at Craven Cottage in September, which represented his first defeat after replacing Roy Hodgson during the summer.

He said: "I think going into the Fulham game, we have to bear in mind that earlier this season they turned us over.

"They were one of the few sides who really beat us and beat us comfortably.

"It is a little bit surprising to see where they are (in the table), but I'm sure they'll look back on their performance against us and hope they can replicate that and move back up the table

"I will remind the players of how poorly we played in that game. We were poor down there.

"I will remind them of that but also remind them of how well we've done this year.

"If we can show the home form we've shown this season, then I'm sure we can start the new year off with a positive result."



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