Clarke bemoans under-par Albion

01 January 2013 07:42
Boss admits Baggies were below standard

Steve Clarke admitted Albion were below par as Fulham beat the Baggies 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

Albion were sluggish throughout and were punished on the counter-attack in the first half by Dimitar Berbatov’s strike five minutes before half time.

But the Baggies fought back after the break and were level within three minutes of the restart when Romelu Lukaku poked home Billy Jones’ cross.

It looked as though Albion would go on and take the lead when Lukaku and Gera were denied by the woodwork in separate attacks. Chris Brunt also had an effort blocked on the line.

However it was the visitors who scored again when Alexander Kacaniklic put Fulham in the lead again in the 58th minute after he capitalised on an error from Ben Foster.

Albion tried to find an equaliser but ran out of ideas and energy as a busy Christmas and New Year period came to an end.

“It was a poor first half and a much better second half,” said Clarke.  “What we did in the second half meant we deserved at least a point out of the game.  “But the first half was disappointing because we’ve set really high standards here at The Hawthorns and we didn’t reach them in the first half.  “There were no raised voices at half-time, we just asked them to dig deep and to find something, which is difficult when you have four games in ten days.  “It’s a physical and mental tiredness as well and I just asked the players to dig deep within themselves and find a way to get back into the game.  “Credit to them for doing that.  “But having got back into the game we switched off and we allowed Fulham to steal a goal on the counter-attack, which makes things doubly difficult because you have to go and raise yourself again.  “Even after that I thought we showed good character in the second half.  “We created a number of opportunities in and around the box and couldn’t get the second equaliser which I think the second-half performance certainly merited.” 

Do you think Albion deserved anything from the game? Have your say here at Baggies Banter. 

Source: WBA MAD