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West Brom V West Ham at The Hawthorns : Match Preview
Updated published : 15 Dec 2012 12:31:23
West Brom V West Ham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Six worries for Clarke
West Brom boss Steve Clarke admits he has six injury doubts ahead of Sunday's home Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster (groin), midfielder Claudio Yacob (hamstring) and left-back Liam Ridgewell (ankle) are all battling to be fit.
Clarke would not name his other concerns as Albion bid to end a run of three successive defeats.
Clarke insists he bears no grudges against West Ham - despite being sacked as number two along with manager Gianfranco Zola.
The duo managed to keep the Hammers in the top flight but were still dismissed in May 2010 by new owners David Sullivan and David Gold, to be replaced by Avram Grant.
But Clarke is philosophical about being axed and insists the credit crunch was a big factor in why he and Zola lost their jobs.
Clarke said: "The new owners came in and assessed what they thought they had to do at the club. They made that decision and that's the owners' job.
"They have to decide what is the best way forward for their club, and that's what Mr Sullivan and Mr Gold did at the time.
"What happened the next season is ifs and buts. If you look at it, though, we didn't make any progress.
"The year before we'd finished in the top 10. The second season was a lot more difficult but there were a lot of extenuating circumstances at West Ham."
Clarke added: "When I first went into that job it was on the promise that we'd always have money to spend in the transfer windows and we were going to push on into the top six.
"But within a fortnight of being in the club, the credit crunch collapse happened. The then Icelandic owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson's bank went bust.
"The circumstances changed completely. There was a gradual erosion of the squad and it was an achievement just to keep West Ham in the Premier League that year."
West Ham's injury worries have deepened with defender George McCartney now a major doubt.
McCartney injured a knee during training this week and is unlikely to feature at the Hawthorns. The setback is a fresh blow to boss Sam Allardyce, who has also lost Mohamed Diame (hamstring) after he pulled up in last weekend's defeat to Liverpool.
Yossi Benayoun, Andy Carroll and Jack Collison (all knee), Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) and Alou Diarra (thigh) are all missing.
As his squad continues to be tested to the limit, Allardyce reckons a foray into the transfer market when the window opens in January may be essential.
"Plans are under way, our policy is always to see what is out in the market in January," he said.
"I think with our injury list at the moment, which is pretty severe and very concerning as far as I'm concerned, and we obviously need to look in the market and see what we can do in January, it is critical for us to try and get one or two players in during that period."