Clarke pleased as tour ends

26 July 2012 02:38
New head coach takes positives from Copenhagen win

Steve Clarke has revealed his satisfaction after completing his first tour as Albion’s new head coach.

The Scot believes the time away as a group was crucial in enabling him to get to know the players and them to bond with Albion’s new backroom set up.

The former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant got his first win under his belt last night after Albion beat Danish champions Copenhagen by three goals to nil.

“Winning at Copenhagen, a difficult place to go, was a nice way to round things off,” said Clarke.

“You could see they were a good team.

“They play Champions League football pretty much every year, have got a lot of good players and the hospitality for the game was great, as it has been at Malmo and our hotel in Sweden for the past week.”

“If we’d have lost the game, I’d be standing here saying ‘the result is not important, that it’s about fitness, working as a team and getting to know the players a little bit more’,” he said.

“So, although the result is pleasing, it’s not the most important part of the night.

“The effort and work-rate was good and the boys looked a little bit fitter and sharper.

“We started slowly, like we did against Malmo last week, and felt our way into the game, which is a sign of heavy legs.

“But once we got into it, we were okay and moved the ball reasonably well.”

Clarke, although happy with the win, admitted Albion still need fine-tuning ahead of the opening game of the season against Liverpool after witnessing a number of passes go astray.

“If I’m being honest, the biggest disappointment of the night was the fact we made so many mistakes in possession – unforced mistakes, really,” he added.

“You don’t mind if the opposition come and press you and press you, like they did in the second half. They got about us and made it difficult for us to pass the ball.

“But in the first half, when it was a real pre-season friendly and we had time and space to pass the ball, we made too many simple mistakes in possession.

“That’s something we have to work on.”

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