Steve Clarke praised performance of West Brom keeper Ben Foster against Stoke

Hard-earned point for West Brom

Steve Clarke: Believes Ben Foster deserves his place in the England team

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West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke hailed the performance of Ben Foster after a faultless display in the 0-0 draw against Stoke City further justified his England recall.

Foster is back in the national squad for the first time since May 2011 ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro later this month.

He staked a claim for a place in England boss Roy Hodgson's starting line-up with a dominant performance in the face of an aerial bombardment from Stoke, and Clarke believes being given the nod ahead of Joe Hart would be nothing less than the 29-year-old warrants.

"He deserves it," the Scot said. "He has had a good season for us. He is a good goalkeeper and it can only be good for England that all the good players make themselves available - and that is what Ben has done.

"As a team we defended fantastically in front of Ben, but Ben's handling was faultless today."

The draw against Stoke was a drab affair, with both sides struggling to create chances and string passes together.

Clarke admitted it was an unappealing spectacle, but welcomed the point.

"It was a game of very few chances, a scrappy game," he said. "If the games were like that every week, we wouldn't have full houses.

"It was a hard-earned point. We defended well. We tried to get the ball down and play, but Stoke made it difficult for us to make passes. It was a long afternoon watching a poor game.

"It is a difficult place top come. We defended well, we were strong. The positive for us is a clean sheet and point away from home."