West Brom midfielder James Morrison praises positive influence of Steve Clarke
West Brom midfielder James Morrison has praised the impact made by Steve Clarke after he took over from Roy Hodgson.
Last Updated: 11/03/13 11:11am
Hodgson left to become England head coach and Clarke was chosen by the Baggies' board as the man to replace him, despite the Scotsman having never managed a team before.
Clarke was assistant boss at Newcastle, Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool though and Morrison feels he has adapted well to his new role at The Hawthorns.
"Look where we are. The gaffer has done fantastic," he said.
"Roy did a fantastic job here but Steve came in, made some good signings, and also had a good group of players.
"Everyone who steps on that pitch gives 100% and that has been the key of this season.
"At the start of pre-season he said he wasn't going to change much because it didn't need changing.
"He tinkered a little bit, but that was about passing the ball a bit more and getting up the pitch a bit more. It seemed to work."
Clarke has played down Albion's chances of qualifying for Europe but Morrison reached the UEFA Cup final with Middlesbrough and is convinced his current side can secure a Europa League berth.
West Brom came from behind to beat Swansea 2-1 at home on Saturday to leave them eighth in the Premier League.
"Can we make Europe? I think so. It depends how many points we pick up. We are not going to get carried away because it's a tough nine games to go," he added.
"We are not used to this position, are we? We are normally looking over our shoulders in March. It feels strange. It just shows what a fantastic season the lads have had.
"I've played in Europe before and it was great. We got all the way to the final. It was great, travelling to different countries and different opposition.
"It also hampers your season sometimes if you look at the teams in there now. But personally I would like to play in it and hopefully the club would as well."