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Wigan V West Brom at The DW Stadium : Match Preview

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10 Nov 2012 08:42:29

Wigan V West Brom at The DW Stadium : Match Preview

Wigan V West Brom - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Steve Clarke may have learned his managerial trade at the feet of Jose Mourinho but the West Brom boss is very much his own man, according to Wigan manager Roberto Martinez.

Martinez crosses swords with Clarke when their sides meet at the DW Stadium with the Spaniard saying the Baggies boss has brought his very own style to management.

West Brom are riding high at fifth place in the table and Martinez claims that is no fluke.

He said: "Steve Clarke has brought a new approach and been really successful.

"I think he knows the British game really well and has developed his own method out of his experiences with some of the best managers in the world - Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish, his experience at Newcastle.

"But what he's bringing into the game is not what he's getting from someone else but something he has developed himself.

"Steve Clarke has very strong values about the game in Britain and has developed very good man-management skills, always calm, always relaxed, always thoughtful.

"West Brom are now the in-form team in the Premier League in my eyes, they are fifth in the table and they have dropped a few points with conceding a 91st-minute goal against Man City and against Villa, both games where they deserved more than that.

"They are very well-balanced, and have kept the same group of players together for a long time."

James MacArthur is rated as only 50-50 to play for Wigan due to a dead leg, while Martinez will again be without wingers Ryo Miyaichi (groin) and Albert Crusat (knee).

Meanwhile, Clarke believes West Brom deserve their top-five position in the Barclays Premier League but insists it would be "dangerous" to start thinking of qualifying for Europe.

The Baggies have collected 17 points from their opening 10 matches - their best Premier League start - ahead of the DW Stadium clash.

Head coach Clarke feels it is no fluke, but knows the possible pitfalls from looking too far ahead.

Clarke said: "We are there for a reason because we deserve to be there. The games we've played, we've accumulated a good number of points.

"But it is a dangerous league if you look too far ahead and you take your eye off what you are trying to do at any given time.

"If you do that, it is a league in which you can easily lose three or four games in a row and we have to be careful of that. We have to keep our focus on what we are trying to do which is picking up points from game to game.

"People ask about Europe but it is too early for that. Like I said, it is a dangerous league. If we hadn't won the other night against Southampton, we would be stuck in mid-table.

"One game took us from ninth to fifth. It is tight in the middle of the table."

Clarke added: "I think the mentality outside the football club will change, the expectation level.

"But we know within the club what we are trying to do, where we are trying to get to.

"The players are very level-headed, they know the objectives and how to get towards those objectives, and the first one is to make sure we are safe."

Goalkeeper Boaz Myhill is on stand-by to play his first senior game for the club in 21 months.

Myhill will step in if number one Ben Foster fails to recover from a recurring groin problem which resulted in him seeing a specialist in Germany.

Key midfielder James Morrison will be available should he suffer no adverse reaction on returning to training after missing the 2-0 home win against Southampton on Monday with a hamstring injury.


PA

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