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Clarke relieved by end to West Brom goal drought

SoccerNews in English Premier League 14 Sep 2013

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West Brom manager Steve Clarke was relieved to see his side score their first goal of the Premier League season against Fulham on Saturday.

Gareth McAuley’s dramatic injury-time header cancelled out Steve Sidwell’s strike and secured a vital point for West Brom as they left Craven Cottage with a battling 1-1 draw.

Having endured a sluggish start to the campaign, Clarke admits there is more to come from his team as his close-season signings continue to adjust to their new surroundings.

On the draw, Clarke said: “I think the way we played, we deserved to get something. When you go into injury time still one down and haven’t scored your first goal of the season, you get a bit anxious.

“I said to someone on the bench I fancied us to score by the end and Gareth (McAuley) does what he does best and attacks corners.

“We have good set-piece delivery and guys who can attack the ball in the air.”

Victor Anichebe, who joined from Everton on deadline day, impressed partnering Nicolas Anelka in attack to earn praise from Clarke.

He added: “Victor is a big, strong striker. He showed some good qualities. He had some good chances – one particularly he is disappointed with – but I’ve told him the chances will keep coming.

“When you make a number of changes right on deadline day it is difficult enough but when they go away for 14 days with their countries, you have to find a way (to cope).”

Another new signing, Stephane Sessegnon from Sunderland, missed Saturday’s clash with Fulham after complications over his work permit.

Clarke moved to clarify the matter and explain why the attacker was absent from the matchday squad.

He said: “Stefan needs a work permit. The change from the work permit he had at Sunderland to the one he needs at West Brom, there is a little delay.

“But hopefully he will be available to face his former team Sunderland next weekend.”

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