West Bromwich Albion Head Coach Steve Clarke has said that his side ‘were not at the races’ on Saturday, as they went down to a 2-1 defeat at in-form Newcastle United, Sky
Newcastle led at half-time through Yoan Gouffran’s header after 36 minutes of an uninspiring first period at St. James’ Park. The visitors did improve after the break, and they were level on 53 minutes thanks to Chris Brunt’s emphatic finish, only for Moussa Sissoko to win the game for Alan Pardew’s side with a stunning strike just four minutes later.
Defeat left West Brom 12th in the Premier League table with only three wins from their opening 13 games, of which six have been draws. They now have two home games coming up, with Manchester City visiting the Hawthorns on Wednesday, before Norwich City do so on Saturday.
After the game, Clarke believed his side could have performed a lot better in the first half. He said: “I thought first half we were too passive in the game. We didn’t pass the ball as well as we do and we didn’t create enough.
“We had one or two half chances as Newcastle did. The goal came out of nowhere because the game was drifting towards a goalless first half and then we conceded the goal.’
On the second half performance, he added: “The second half was good. We played with more intensity, got ourselves back in the game and then a wonder strike denied us any points.
“I just feel that we were feeling a bit sorry for ourselves at times so we spoke about starting the second half on the front foot and getting bodies further forward and getting pressure in and around their defensive area and it started to pay dividends for us.
“Obviously, we got the equaliser and got on top in the game and then they scored against the run of play. We just couldn’t create the second equaliser.”
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