Clarke: We'll be even better
West Brom boss Steve Clarke is confident his side can emulate their success of last season and has no fears of the so-called second season syndrome.
In his first season in charge, Clarke led West Brom to eighth in the Premier League last term - their best-ever Premier League finish.
The former Chelsea assistant, who is in his first managerial post, will have his work cut out to repeat that feat this season, especially given that striker Romelu Lukaku - scorer of 17 goals for them while on loan from Chelsea last season, but now back with his parent club - is not at their disposal.
But the 49-year-old is optimistic they can maintain last season's form, starting with opening league clash with Southampton at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
"I'm not sure I understand second season syndrome - it is another phrase the media uses," Clarke said. "For me, this is about trying to emulate what we did last season - to be a team that is positive and tries to win football matches.
"The more we can win the more points we will get and with that follows the success for the club. That is all you can do.
"I don't sit here and worry about the fact it is the second season.
"I have learned some lessons from last year and hopefully I can put them into practice this year and you'll see a better and stronger West Bromwich Albion."
Clarke's new additions this summer are strikers Nicolas Anelka and Matej Vydra and defender Diego Lugano, and he hopes to bring in two or three more players, including Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair.
Asked about specific league targets, Clarke said: "I think it is always dangerous to set targets too early.
"The first target is to try to win on Saturday. I know it is boring, but that is the only way it can be."