Football - Clarke hails Baggies' character

Steve Clarke hailed West Brom's character as they came from behind to claim a point from a 1-1 draw with Newcastle.

PA Sport

The Baggies boss felt that their lack of recent action showed in the early stages as the Magpies took the lead through Yoan Gouffran's eighth-minute header, but he was pleased with their recovery after half-time.

That was completed when Billy Jones grabbed the equaliser, and Romelu Lukaku also hit the crossbar before Rob Elliot produced a fine save to deny James Morrison as the Baggies looked the most likely winners in the second half.

Clarke said: "I was a bit concerned we had only played two games in 34 days and I think that showed at the start.

"Newcastle picked up the game much quicker than we did. In the first half they were better than us.

"On another day they could have got a second goal and it would have made it more difficult for us, but they didn't and it gave us the avenue back into the game, which I think we grabbed with both hands. Second half we were much, much better.

"We had much more aggression and intensity. On another day we could have nicked all three points."

On Jones' 64th-minute equaliser, Clarke said: "He is the first Englishman to score for us this year.

"He has done well, Billy, he gets in those positions quite a lot.

"I am delighted he scored because it gets us a point and delighted for Billy. He deserves it."

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