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Aug 27, 2012

Morrison: WBA will prove doubters wrong

James Morrison says West Bromwich Albion are being driven by a determination to silence the critics who have written the Baggies off as relegation candidates following the loss of Roy Hodgson.

• Blog: Positives from a point

Morrison and his West Brom team-mates have been stung by suggestions that the club will struggle to retain their top flight status without Hodgson, now the England coach.

Their response to claims that Steve Clarke will have difficulty continuing Hodgson's excellent work has been impressive, with an opening-day victory over Liverpool and the weekend draw at Tottenham.

Morrison, who scored the late equaliser at White Hart Lane, has a message for pundits who have cast doubts on Albion's prospects under Clarke.

"Whoever has said things about our chances, what do they know? We will prove them wrong," he said. "We know we cannot get carried away, and we won't do that. We know there is a lot of hard work to do.

"But Steve Clarke hasn't changed much. He's tweaked a few things and it's worked. We would have taken four points from our first two games. We never get an easy start. We had Man United and Chelsea last year. We've had Arsenal in the past. That's why pre-season is always crucial and something we have to work on.

"Steve makes us train very hard – he gets the best out of us. His training is very good."

Meanwhile, Clarke is determined to resist any late interest from clubs looking to sign Swedish international Jonas Olsson, despite the defender refusing to sign a new contract.

Olsson, 29, is happy to run down the final year of his contract after looking likely to move during the summer. Spurs and Sunderland are both monitoring his situation, but only offers in excess of £6 million would tempt Albion into allowing Olsson to leave.

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