Steve Clarke frustrated by midweek international fixture

Gareth McAuley
© PA Photos
West Brom manager Steve Clarke reveals his frustration after defenders Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley played 90 minutes in midweek international action.

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke has revealed his frustration after two of his men played 90 minutes for their countries on Wednesday, just days before the start of the Premier League campaign.

Defensive duo Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley both played full matches for Sweden and Northern Ireland respectively.

Like many top-flight managers, Clarke cannot understand the timing of the fixture, which could leave his players fatigued for their season opener against Liverpool at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

"Jonas Olsson played 90 for Sweden and Gareth McAuley played 90. I don't understand it," said Clarke.

"It has upset me a little bit, yes. Two experienced central defenders didn't need 90 minutes of football after travelling to play for their countries before the opening of the Premier League.

"It's placed in a ridiculous place in the calendar. It's been addressed and it will be taken out of the fixture list and the quicker that happens the better."

Tomorrow's fixture will be Clarke's first since being appointed Baggies manager. Read Sports Mole's preview of the contest here.

Steve Clarke
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