Football - Clarke doing fantastic job - AVB

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks West Brom's season should be judged as a success so far despite their recent slump in form.

PA Sport

The Baggies had been touted as contenders for a top-five finish during the early stages of the Barclays Premier League season thanks to an excellent run of form under new manager Steve Clarke.

They were fourth in the table at the end of November, but a five-match winless run over the new year means Clarke's men currently sit ninth in the table.

Some Albion fans have been disgruntled over the team's performances of late, but Villas-Boas, who used to work with the Scot at Chelsea, believes the 49-year-old deserves credit for the work he is doing at The Hawthorns.

"In my opinion they are having an extremely good season," the Portuguese said ahead of his team's visit to The Hawthorns on Sunday. "Whatever happens on Sunday, they won't lose their ninth position in the league and they can go higher.

"Because they were so high in the early stages people now look at it as something negative - the fact that they have dropped down - which is extremely unfair in my opinion. Steve is doing a fantastic job. They have good conditions to work.

"Hopefully this work can be recognised and not be seen by recent results."

Many had doubted whether Clarke had enough nous to make it as a manager after he spent the majority of his career as a number two. The Scot has been relatively successful so far, though, bringing an attractive style of football to The Hawthorns while also getting the best out of players like Romelu Lukaku, who struggled under Villas-Boas' stewardship at Chelsea.

Having been alongside Clarke at Stamford Bridge for three years as part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff, Villas-Boas is glad to see his former colleague doing well.

"He is an excellent person," Villas-Boas said. "I have nothing bad to say about Steve. It is fantastic to see him doing well. It has been a great learning experience and a great opportunity at West Brom. We had a excellent relationship. I am not sure what captivates Steve is the same as captivates me."

View comments (1)