STEVE Clarke counted West Brom “fortunate” to run out 3-0 winners against Sunderland in yesterday’s bottom-of-the-table clash.
“I think we were a bit lucky the way things fell for us,” said the Albion manager after his side recorded their first victory of the Premier League season.
“We didn’t play too badly at all in spells, but it helped our cause when Steven Fletcher went off injured and Sunderland had used all three subs.
“It was a freak accident that no one could have predicted, but it played into our hands because we were 1-0 up and scored immediately afterwards.
“Circumstances like that happen in football and it doesn’t matter how you’ve prepared all week, the events of the game can take it away from you.”
Albion had lost both their home games previously and could have done without the reasonably bright start Sunderland made.
“We were a little bit lacking in confidence,” the Albion boss admitted. “We were a little bit tentative at the beginning and I thought Sunderland were threatening to take advantage of that.
“But then we got a goal through Stephane Sessegnon, just before the mid-point of the half, and that really settled us.
“With the score 1-0 though, you are never fully comfortable and it could have been a very difficult last quarter-of-an-hour for us.
“If Fletcher had scored, for example, instead of missing and injuring himself, it could have been a completely different game.
“And the fact that Sunderland were reduced to 10 men, through no fault of their own didn’t help them as a side and it stopped us from having some of the nerves we might have had if it had stayed 11 against 11 going into the final stages.”
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