Clarke spitting feathers over Popov

04 February 2013 09:36
Boss claims dismissal cost Albion

Steve Clarke revealed his disgust at Goran Popov after the defender was dismissed for spitting at an opponent during yesterday’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham.

Popov was shown a straight red card just two minutes after the break when the score was 0-0.

But the dismissal swung the game in Spurs’ favour and Gareth Bale’s wonderful 67th minute strike meant Albion remain winless in 2013.

“Of course the sending-off changes it,” said Clarke.  “It’s difficult enough in the Barclays Premier League playing against 11 players, especially when you’re playing against a good team like Tottenham.  “It changed the whole complexion of the game.  “There is no excuse and no place for it in life, let alone on a football pitch. “I haven’t had a one-on-one conversation with Goran, we spoke about it after the game as a group.  “I like to think at some stage he will apologise.  “There will be disciplinary procedures taken against him and that will remain in-house as always.” 

Albion were much improved at the back during the first 45 minutes and arguably should’ve been in the lead at the break. Shane Long twice wasted opportunities when through on goal and Romelu Lukaku also should’ve done better when through on goal.

“I thought in the first half we were the better team,” Clarke added. “We showed signs of our old self; the way we were pre-Christmas.  “It’s been a difficult run for us and a difficult week for us – but we felt the game was a chance to get ourselves back on an even keel.  “The events at the start of the second half were so disappointing for us because we felt this was a chance to get our season back on track.  “The first half performance showed that.  “If any team was going to score in the first half it was us.  “We had a good control of the game.  “When I calm down a little bit and I go away from here I think I’ll be able to take away a lot of positives from the performance when we were 11 v 11 against a very good Tottenham team.” 

What did you think of Popov's actions? Have your say here at Baggies Banter. 

Source: WBA MAD