Clarke. Nick Potts/PA Archive/Press Association Images

'There's no place for it in life, never mind on a pitch' - Clarke condemns Popov spitting

The Baggies defender was handed a straight red at the Hawthorns yesterday.

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke was ‘absolutely disgusted’ by Goran Popov after the defender was sent off for spitting.

The Macedonia international was given his marching orders after spitting in the direction of Kyle Walker during Tottenham’s 1-0 win over West Brom at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

Tottenham made the most of their numerical advantage and Gareth Bale struck a 67th-minute winner for Andre Villas-Boas’ side.

Clarke was unwilling to defend Popov post-match and said the red card turned the game after an even first half.

“The game changed with the sending off. I’m absolutely disgusted with Goran’s behaviour. One of the group has let the players down. It changed the whole complexion of the game,” he said.

It’s difficult enough in the Premier League playing against 11 players, especially when you’re playing against Tottenham. There’s no excuse for that. There’s no place for it in life, never mind on a football pitch.

“I would like to think that at some stage he will apologise. As always there will be disciplinary procedures taken against the player but they’ll remain in-house.”

Villas-Boas was also unhappy with Popov and believes referee Mark Clattenburg was right to show the 28-year-old a red card.

“It’s difficult for the ref, but Popov did what he did and Walker did nothing to react. It’s difficult to assess but I think Mark Clattenburg made the right decision,” he said.

“It’s horrible and nasty.”

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe is likely to miss three weeks after suffering an ankle injury, and has been ruled out of England’s friendly against Brazil on Wednesday.

After failing to sign a striker in the January transfer window, Villas-Boas may have to use Bale as his focal point in attack.

“We started today with Bale through the middle and Clint Dempsey on the left. It is something he feels comfortable with,” Villas-Boas said.

“It gives us even that possibility for sure. It is something we have to look to.”

West Brom defender Goran Popov sent off for spitting at Kyle Walker

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