• Premier League

Clarke insists Baggies will stay grounded

ESPN staff
November 26, 2012
Steve Clarke is at the helm of a high-flying West Brom side © PA Photos

Steve Clarke has said West Bromwich Albion's rise to third in the Premier League is no fluke and there is no danger of his players getting carried away.

Albion travel to Swansea on Wednesday on the back of four successive top-flight wins for the first time since 1980. Only the two Manchester clubs are ahead of them, and they have a five-point advantage over fifth-placed Everton after winning 4-2 at Sunderland on Saturday.

Clarke has every confidence he will have no trouble keeping his players grounded and said: "It's certainly not been a lucky start. We've earned every point we've got. You could even say we've been unlucky not to get more points in some games.

"It's been a solid start and we've deserved everything we've got. We're third and we deserve to be there, but we won't get carried away. We don't think that, because we're up there, we're big-time Charlies."

Clarke said he remains focused on achieving 40 points and Premier League safety in his first season as a number one, but believes Albion will be able to look again at their targets once they have reached that goal.

"You've got to understand that safety is relative," he added. "The idea is you have to get 40 points.

"But I never said when we had to get those points. We've made good inroads towards that target. If we can get 40 points before the end of January we can reassess things, but the first target is a sensible one and one we will try to deal with.

"We've seen a lot of clubs who have had a lot of points at this stage of the season and gone on to struggle come the end of the season.

"We hope we have the strength and depth in the squad for that not to happen, but we will just keep building from game to game."

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