Clarke expecting big things from Lukaku
Published 23/12/2012 | 07:24
West Brom boss Steve Clarke is predicting a big future for on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku following his late winner in the 2-1 home success over Norwich.
The Chelsea player headed home a deep cross from Baggies left-back Goran Popov with eight minutes remaining for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Clarke said: "Romelu has done well, he is a big talent, he has got a big future ahead of him in the game."
It was a rare start for Lukaku who has been kept out of the side for most of the season by leading scorer Shane Long. But he justified his selection as his goal ended Norwich's 10-game unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League and moved Albion back into the top six.
"The fact he couldn't get in the team for most of the season is down to the form of Shane Long who shouldn't be forgotten today," added Clarke.
"Shane made a difference when he came onto the pitch, he tied up the other centre-back, has given a bit more space to Romelu, and maybe that's why he has got the space for the winning goal. It's a team effort and we don't like to single out individuals."
Norwich manager Chris Hughton felt his side deserved a share of the spoils and was unhappy with the award of a corner for the first Albion goal from Zoltan Gera just before half-time which cancelled out Robert Snodgrass's 23rd-minute opener.
He said: "I think we should have got a point on the balance of play. Albion are a good footballing team, at home, so you know they are going to have a percentage of possession. But I thought we had good spells in the game where we had real good possession, certainly for an away team.
"There weren't many clear-cut chances and it was even and we deserved to come away with something.
"The first goal was frustrating because they are a threat from set-plays and disappointing as it shouldn't have been a corner in the first place and was a goal-kick. The timing of the goal gave them the lift they needed."