Steve Clarke declared Albion’s first official pre-season friendly as the perfect workout.
Albion faced German side Hannover 96 in the first game of their Austrian tour but were on the end of a 2-1 defeat following Craig Dawson’s late own goal.
Clarke fielded a strong side against the Germans with Nicolas Anelka partnering Markus Rosenberg up front.
The Baggies fell behind in the first half when ex-Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf capitalised on a defensive error to score past Ben Foster.
Markus Rosenberg replied for Albion before the break but Dawson’s own goal made it a losing start to pre-season for Clarke’s men.
“It was a perfect workout,” said the Scot. “We got a good 60 minutes into most of them. "James and Graham stayed on a bit longer which was a bit of a risk at this stage but I didn’t want to put too many of the young players on too early. “You saw later in the game when I played a couple of the young boys out of position, it doesn’t really help the rhythm of the team. “But for 65 to 70 minutes it was pleasing. “Hannover are good but they are a little bit ahead of us in terms of their preparation “They start on August 10 and I think that was their eighth game in pre-season, whereas for our boys it was the second – but they only played 45 minutes each in the first game, which was just a training session really. “The goal we scored was a really good goal and something we did a little bit of work on in training, with some good combinations. “The disappointing thing is we lost the first goal due to a couple of sloppy passes at the back. “A lot of that is down to fatigue - you try and be a little bit too clever when you’re fatigued “The second goal was just a deflection from the edge of the box. “But like last pre-season, we don’t look at the result, we look at what we get from the game, and by and large I’m very pleased.”
Swedish international Rosenberg made it two goals in two games for Albion – after he netted in a training game against Tamworth last weekend.
“It is nice to start like this, especially with the season I had on my back last season,” said the striker.
“It’s good to have a pre-season.
“Last time I missed out on the whole pre-season and was behind everyone from the beginning and I didn’t really catch up.
“Now I have started from the beginning and scored goals in the games, so hopefully this will be a different season for me.”
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Source: WBA MAD