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Friday, March 29, 2013
Clarke targets record points haul

Ian Edwards

Steve Clarke has promised a strong finish to West Bromwich Albion's season as he looks to write his name into the club's history books.

The Scot's first season as head coach at the Hawthorns has defied the pre-season critics who tipped Albion as relegation candidates, and he returns to his former club West Ham on Saturday with a West Brom milestone in his sights.

Victory against the Hammers would see Albion equal their highest-ever Premier League points total of 47 with seven matches still remaining.

And Clarke said he wanted his team to finish with a flourish and break through the 50-point barrier, even if their hopes of reaching the Europa League look to have disappeared.

The manager is determined to ensure there is no let-up now that Premier League safety is assured and is keen to add to a run of ten points from the last five games.

"We are professional - we want to finish as high as we can," he said. "The next target for us is to get more points than we did in the last two seasons, which is 47.

"If we equal that on Saturday, it will give us seven games to better it. We want to finish as high up the league as we can, and no-one should question our commitment or desire to do well for the last eight games."

Clarke spent two seasons at West Ham as assistant to his former Chelsea team-mate Gianfranco Zola, and this will be his first visit to his former club as a boss, with his assistant Kevin Keen also making an Upton Park return.

"Yes, it will be good to see a few old faces," he said. "Kevin has got more of an association with West Ham than me, as he was a player and a coach there.

"I enjoyed my time at West Ham. It was good. The second season was difficult, but I learned a lot and it stood me in good stead for the job I am doing here."




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