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I was right to ring West Brom team changes, says Steve Clarke

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Steve Clarke today insisted he will have funds to strengthen his West Bromwich Albion squad in January.

The Baggies head coach defended his raft of changes for Saturday's Stoke defeat, in which he made six changes for the Hawthorns clash and saw his side beaten 1-0 as the Potters continued their dominance of the fixture.

But Clarke, who drafted Steven Reid, Goran Popov, Zoltan Gera, Markus Rosenberg, Graham Dorrans and Shane Long into the team, insisted he was right to show faith in his squad for Albion's third game in eight days.

"The changes are there to be made," said the Scot. "I can't keep saying I've got a good squad then pick the same players every week.

"Then I become a liar. I can't tell the players I trust them all the time and then not do that. It was a week to use the squad. I was pleased with the changes. I thought the boys that came in did well in what was not a pretty game of football."

With just a month to go until the January transfer window, the Baggies are braced to lose Youssouf Mulumbu and Peter Odemwingie to the African Cup of Nations for up to a month in the new year.

Chelsea also have an option to recall Romelu Lukaku and Clarke insisted the Baggies have not ruled out dipping into the transfer market, although the club are expected to have a low-key transfer window.

"We'll deal with the January window when we get there," he said.

"There's a possibility we will lose a couple of players to the African Nations and we could lose players to injury, but when we get closer to the end of this month we'll start to make decisions.

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"I haven't really discussed with the chairman the way forward in January. That's why we have a technical director. We have spoken about what we might need to do in January and if the chairman, Dan Ashworth and I decide we need to strengthen the squad then we can do that."

Clarke also insisted he was right to keep key midfielder James Morrison as an unused substitute.

"The selection process over the course of the three games last week was designed to try to freshen the team up," he said.

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