Clarke up for the challenge

  • Last Updated: February 18 2013, 15:37 GMT

Steve Clarke hopes the way he has dealt with West Brom's spate of recent on and off- the-field problems will help him become "a better coach."

Clarke hopes his problem solving will help him become a better coach
Clarke hopes his problem solving will help him become a better coach

Clarke steered the Baggies into third spot in the Barclays Premier League at the end of November in his first season as a manager.

But the past two months have been a test for the former Liverpool and Chelsea assistant boss.

He has had to confront a slump in results, Peter Odemwingie's on-off transfer saga and Twitter rants, Goran Popov's red card for spitting and Jonas Olsson's angry gesture towards fans.

But Clarke said: "It's been a good experience. Different challenges always bring different solutions

"While I didn't want this kind of publicity for the club, it's been a challenge for me.

"In the early part of the season everything, was going great for me.

"Recently, it's a little bit more difficult and people can see if I can handle these challenges."

Clarke added: "I won't look back on it with any fond memories.

"But, if I learn something from it going ahead that makes me a better coach and helps me work better with the players, I'll try to take the positives from it.

"The most important thing for us is that we have to move on. You can't stand still or keep looking back."

Midfielder Zoltan Gera has hailed the impact made by Clarke since replacing Roy Hodgson last summer as head coach.

He said: "The club always finds good managers and I've been happy with each one but this is a different era because we are now a stable Premier League team.

"I'm sure it was difficult for the manager after Roy left but he has done a fantastic job in his first year as a number one.

"I think he has a very good future and the one thing he never does is panic. Some managers do but he always trusts in the players which is good.

"He says the right things in the dressing room before kick-off, at half-time and after matches."

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