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Nov 6, 2012

Clarke relieved to get West Brom winning again

Steve Clarke praised his West Bromwich Albion players without going overboard after they had emerged from their mini slump with the 2-0 win that kept Southampton pinned to the foot of the Premier League.

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"The performance was okay but not exceptional," he said. "We didn't look under too much threat and always looked like we could score on the counter attack.

"If we hadn't won this game, the league would have started to tighten up (for us) and I spoke before about getting our season back on track after two good performances but no points.

"The performance here was probably not as good as we have played this season but we got the result we wanted."

For the first time in the 2012-13 Premier League, Albion were without James Morrison, arguably their player of the season to date.

The midfielder picked up a 'niggle' in training in the build-up, then Ben Foster had a foot problem in the kick-in which meant he had to kick all night with his weaker right one.

But Albion made light of the setbacks thanks to two goals by Peter Odemwingie that eased the disappointment of the successive misfortunes against Manchester City and Newcastle.

"It has been a good start," the head coach added. "The players I have selected have been fantastic.

"We have said from the start that we focus on the primary objective... to make sure Albion are in the Premier League next season. We are on the way to that and have given ourselves a real start. If and when we get there, we will start to look at other targets.

"The home form has been really good... five wins out of six. And the only one we lost was to the champions, when we were unlucky and should have had at least a draw."

Clarke suggested Odemwingie was just about to be taken off before the magnificent run and headed finish that brought him his second goal and earned him a few more minutes on the pitch.

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