West Brom boss Clarke wary of Sunderland’s Fletcher

Steven Fletcher celebrates at Fulham
Steven Fletcher celebrates at Fulham
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STEVE Clarke is wary of Steven Fletcher resurrecting old rivalries against West Brom tomorrow, writes CHRIS YOUNG.

Fletcher netted three times in two Black Country derby meetings with the Baggies, during his two-year stint with former club Wolves before joining Sunderland for £12million in the summer.

And with the 25-year-old ending a five-game goalless run with his sixth for Sunderland in last weekend’s victory at Fulham, West Brom boss Clarke has pinpointed the Scottish striker as the major threat to the fourth-placed Baggies tomorrow lunchtime.

Clarke said of the former Burnley and Hibs star: “He is a very, very dangerous player and has scored goals wherever he’s been.

“I’m sure with him being ex-Wolverhampton Wanderers he might want to cause us a few more problems.

“We’ll do our best to keep him as quiet as we can, which is no easy task as I think he’s a very, very good player.”

That win at Fulham ended a run of three successive defeats for Martin O’Neill’s men, who remain just three points above the bottom three.

But Clarke is wary of the confidence boost Sunderland will have gained from Craven Cottage after recording a first victory on the road since February.

“It’s a big club, there is big expectation in the North East, they spent a lot of money in the summer, over £20million,” added Clarke.

“It has taken them a bit of time to gel. They’ve also had an imbalance of games with only four at home and seven away.

“I’m sure their points return is not what they would like it to be.

“Some of their performances have been OK. I’ve watched the DVDs.

“They are a good team and will go into the game on a high after a fantastic result at Fulham.”