Steve Clarke hails goalkeeper Foster after West Brom draw with Stoke

The Baggies boss believes his goalkeeper's decision to return to international football is good news for England after he kept a clean sheet in the Saturday stalemate
West Brom head coach Steve Clarke heaped praise on goalkeeper Ben Foster after he kept his sixth clean sheet of the season in the 0-0 draw with Stoke to celebrate his recent recall to the England squad.

Foster retired from international football in 2010 but recently decided to put his name back in the frame for selection and found himself recalled for England's games against San Marino and Montenegro later this month.

"His handling was excellent," Clarke told reporters. "He's another key element of a good defensive unit, his performances since he came back from the second operation he had have been top level.

"He's made himself available for England which can only be good news for England because they've got another good player available for selection. All Ben can do is what he's done; he's a really good goalkeeper."

Stoke narrowly edged the opening half at the Britannia Stadium but the visitors turned the game on its head after the break and Romelu Lukaku could have secured all three points.

"It's a good point away from home, we want to try and improve our away record," Clarke added. "We always like to try and win games but sometimes it's not possible.

"It's only the fifth game we've drawn this season, it's a difficult place to come. We knew it would be a tough game, the clean sheet for us is important, it's also important to defend well. We'll take it, it's a good point."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis, meanwhile, agreed with his opposite number regarding the excitement on show on a cold, wet afternoon in Staffordshire and was satisfied with a share of the spoils.

"I thought it was a very competitive game, not many chances in it," he said. "Kenwyne [Jones] has probably had the best chance of the game and unfortunately for us he's ended up hitting it straight at Foster.

"When things are going for you that would've nestled in the corner somewhere. It's got us off 33 points which has been a millstone around our neck. Fingers crossed in the last eight games we can push on."