West Brom V Sunderland at The Hawthorns : Match Preview

20 September 2013 03:31
West Brom V Sunderland - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Sessegnon set for swift reunion

Steve Clarke is ready to throw Stephane Sessegnon in at the deep end should the forward make his West Brom debut against former club Sunderland.

The Benin international arrived at The Hawthorns on transfer deadline day in what eventually turned out to be an acrimonious departure from Wearside.

Sessegnon had a lot of fans at the Stadium of Light but divided opinion due to his enigmatic demeanour, with Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio questioning his commitment after selling him to Albion.

Baggies boss Clarke has yet to get to know the forward but has no doubt the player will be raring to go should he make his bow on Saturday.

"I won't have to motivate Stephane," he said.

"He's just joined a new club and he's got a new challenge. You can see every day in training that he's excited about the prospect of playing here and he's looking forward to the game at the weekend.

"I don't think it would matter who we were playing, he'd still be looking forward to it.

"I haven't read Paolo's comments because I tend not to read the media. I'm not really sure what the context was.

"Sometimes when a player leaves a club the manager will choose to make some critical comments but that's for every individual to decide how they want to do it.

"I've only known Stephane for 10 days or so. It's not very long and I haven't had too many chats with him.

"He's quiet, but when I was young I was quiet as well. That doesn't make you introverted or a difficult character. Some people are quiet, some people are loud.

"Everybody has their own character."

Defender John O'Shea returns to the Sunderland squad, as does former skipper Lee Cattermole, who seemed set to leave the Stadium of Light during the summer, and midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini following his recovery from a hamstring problem.

Di Canio has urged his players to take responsibility for securing a much-needed first win of the season.

The Black Cats are stuck at the bottom of the table with just a single point from their four games to date.

Di Canio insists he is not concerned by a run of results which could get worse before it gets better with leaders Liverpool due at the Stadium of Light next weekend and champions Manchester United following hot on their heels.

However, the 45-year-old Italian knows how much of a boost a win over the Baggies, who are only a point better off, could provide and he is challenging his players to make a statement.

He said: "Paolo Di Canio is the first responsible because I pick my players, I choose the strategy of how we have to play. I absolutely always agree with this: the manager is the number one responsible.

"But the players have to feel a responsibility. They are adult footballers who have to have the desire and the courage to say, 'Yes, we lost, we lost, but I am sure I did my best'.

"It doesn't mean you can be bad or not give quality in training sessions, you have to be professional. Don't smile, but train harder.

"It doesn't have to come only from the manager, otherwise it's tough. This is why I hope we are going to win soon."

Source: PA