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Clarke ready for West Brom rally

7 December 2012 21:50

After successive defeats to Swansea and Stoke in the Premier League, Steve Clarke is expecting West Brom to bounce back against Arsenal.

A fantastic start to the season and Clarke's managerial career saw West Brom sitting third in the league towards the end of November, but losing to the Swans at the Liberty Stadium before slipping up at home against Tony Pulis' side has seen the Baggies drop to fifth.

Things do not get much easier next for Clarke and his team as they travel to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, but with the Gunners going through a troubling period themselves, the former Chelsea assistant manager is adamant they will put recent inconsistencies behind them.

Speaking to reporters, Clarke said: "I'm not looking for a response. I'm expecting it because that's what they've done before.

"We've had two defeats before this season, then we lost two games in the space of four days last week. It is not a disaster in terms of the whole picture and what we are trying to do this season.

"It is the Premier League and it is a difficult place to win week in and week out. Even the top sides don't win every week. There is no reason to expect you should win every game.

"It's a league where you can have a run of difficult results. Our aim is to make sure we get back on a positive footing as soon as possible with a good performance at the Emirates this weekend."

West Brom's start to the season has seen many ponder whether they could challenge for European places by the end of the season, but Clarke is refusing to make predictions, reminding fans and pundits alike that they still have to fight for the rest of the season.

"We've never said that we are a top-six side," he said. "We've never said anything about the team.

"All we've said is that we are a good, honest, hard-working bunch, we know we can compete in the Premier League and we try to do that every week.

"We haven't tried to pigeonhole ourselves at all. We are working towards the whole season - not a bunch of five or six fixtures. We work towards the points total for the whole season."

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Wednesday 17 December

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 16 +23 39
2 16 +19 36
3 16 +12 31
4 16 +8 28
5 16 +12 26
6 16 +9 26
7 16 -2 24
8 16 -4 23
9 16 +2 22
10 16 +3 21
11 16 -3 21
12 16 -3 19
13 16 -10 19
14 16 -5 17
15 16 -10 16
16 16 -5 15
17 16 -13 15
18 16 -13 14
19 16 -8 13
20 16 -12 10

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