sport

Clarke eyes further improvements

Steve Clarke has promised there is more to come from West Brom as they look to maintain their flying start to the season in the Premier League.

Clarke admits "95% of people in football" would not expect to see West Brom lying in third spot in late November ahead of Wednesday night's clash at Swansea.

But the former Chelsea and Liverpool number two is challenging himself and his squad to improve still further as they aim for a fifth successive win.

Clarke said: "I think there's more to come. I think we can continue to improve.

"If we don't believe there's more to come, we might as well give up. You have to strive to improve all the time.

"We have to lead each other, we have to push each other on.

"I want to be better, I want to be higher in the league, I want to do as well as I can in this job and the players are the same.

"They want to be as successful as they can be, and if we drive each other on, then that's great."

Some pundits have speculated that the Baggies' bubble will burst before long, but Clarke is paying no attention to the doubters.

"I think if you ask around, 95% of people in football would say West Brom wouldn't be in the top three come the end of the season. But let's see," he said.

"I don't need to use that as a motivational thing. I find my own way to motivate myself.

"I have my own targets and I know where I want to be and what I want to achieve, and that's enough for me."

Clark is confident his players will not get carried away with their success.

He said: "I think they're quite a level-headed group. They're a group who will keep their feet on the ground.

"There might be one or two who might get a little bit carried away but everyone else will jump on top of them and keep them down.

"To extend the good run, we have to just keep doing what we're doing.

"The players have to work as hard as they been doing in training, so that when they get their chance to go into the team they'll be ready for it.

"If they continue to perform as well as they have been doing as and when they are selected, then I think we can keep the run going a bit longer."

Clarke defended the performances of goalkeeper Boaz Myhill, who has been deputising for the injured Ben Foster.

Myhill came in for some criticism for his performance in the 4-2 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Clark said: "I'm not sure what they criticised him about. The first goal was a massive deflection off wall, he was wrong-footed, he couldn't get it.

"He made a fantastic reaction save on the second goal, and his defenders let him down because they didn't react to the second ball.

"I'm not sure why they would want to criticise him, maybe to put pressure on the boy, but I know Bozy can handle the pressure, no problem.

"He's been great and he's only been great because he works ever so hard in training, to be ready for his chance, and you can see he's getting his rewards the way he is playing."