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Clarke has learned a lot in first year at West Brom

17 May 2013 16:04

Steve Clarke said he has learned a lot during the second half of the Premier League season as West Brom struggled to maintain their form.

The 49-year-old was appointed manager at the Hawthorns in June and admitted that after a fantastic start to the season, it had been a challenge for him as West Brom lost their way.

At the half-way point the club were were sixth in the table with 33 points having won 10 games, they had peaked at third in late November, but after Christmas things changed and they have only four four games since.

With one game to play they are in eighth position on 48 points and know they are guaranteed a top-10 finish whatever happens against Manchester United.

"It's been a great challenge," he said. "In the first half of the season I thought it was the easiest job in the world. I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about!

"In the second half of the season I had a rude awakening. I had different problems, different things to consider.

"There was the transfer window to deal with, a lack of quality in the squad when the squad was stretched to the maximum over November, December and January.

"I’ve learned a lot this year and I’ll try and improve next year."

The Scot will use the experiences in 2013 to develop West Brom next season and he knows that he needs to learn how to cope in the transfer windows, handling the disappointment of cup exits and dealing with longer breaks between fixtures.

"Going out of the cup competitions early I think affected us," he added. "Especially going out of the FA Cup, because I think we had too many free weekends.

"Between the FA Cup and international breaks we had too many gaps in our season and we struggled to maintain a rhythm

"That’s something we’ll have to look at next season."

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Monday 20 October

Sunday 19 October

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 8 +15 22
2 8 +10 17
3 8 +14 16
4 8 +4 13
5 8 +1 13
6 7 +3 11
7 8 +2 11
8 8 +1 11
9 8 -1 11
10 8 -1 11
11 8 +0 10
12 8 -8 10
13 8 +0 9
14 8 -2 9
15 7 -1 8
16 8 -3 8
17 8 -7 8
18 8 -6 7
19 8 -9 4
20 8 -12 4

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