Clarke Explains Sub Decision
Or the lack thereof following the 3-1 defeat to Swansea.
Speaking to wba.co.uk following the game, Clarke admitted we were the poorer side on the night and credited Swansea for their performance, but he also explained why he decided to not make any changes in the defeat.
'It was very unexpected. We started so slowly it was incredible. We didn't give ourselves a platform and when you are chasing it's always difficult. We're had a really good season, we've played really well and we've had four wins in a row. But it's football and it happens, we left ourselves too much to do.'
As for the formation change and no subs, he added.
'Changing formation was just something that I thought we should do to try to get ourselves back into the game. We gave ourselves a lifeline with the goal, but I can't say we deserved that. If it had been 3-0 at half time we could've had no complaints. I was tempted to make subs, but the players had put themselves in a terrible position and I challenged them to try to get out of it, fair play to the players, they had a go. I challenged them to do better in the second half, and I think they did.'
Many may disagree with the decision to not change players for a fresh impetus, but there is something to be said for holding the players to their own account and not just dragging off those who weren't performing.
In the short term it may have cost us a share of the spoils, but in the long term it will remind the players they can't hide if they want to figure for us, and even if having an off day, you counter that by digging deeper and giving more to show you care.
As for the bigger picture though, it's a loss. We knew we'd have them, so no point getting bent out of shape for a blip. The players have more than earnt a few bad days at the office with there commitment and determination so far this season.
And you do get the feeling that nobody more than the players themselves want to make up for that, which is a beautiful spirit to have within the camp.
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