West Brom boss Steve Clarke has revealed that Real Madrid counterpart Jose Mourinho sent him a supportive text message ahead of the win over Sunderland on Saturday.
The 49-year-old, who was the Portuguese’s No.2 at Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, guided the Baggies to third in the Premier League table at the weekend with their 4-2 win on Wearside – leapfrogging his former club in the process – but refused to reveal the details of the pre-match exchange.
“Jose said some good things in the text although what they were will remain in private,” Clarke told the Daily Mirror.
Clarke takes his side to Swansea on Wednesday knowing that he could again be without Ben Foster following the news that the goalkeeper may require further groin surgery.
The former England international has already gone under the knife once this term, missing the wins over Wigan, Chelsea and Sunderland, but could require more time on the operating table to fully correct the problem.
“It is possible the Ben could need further surgery,” said Clarke.
“If that is the case, it will be the same timescale as before, that it will be seven to 10 days.”
There is also concern over whether Jonas Olsson will be available for the trip to south Wales as he tries to shake off a troublesome calf problem, and Clarke will take no risks with his skipper if he is not 100 per cent fit.
“He will go out and train later today and we will see how he goes. He is the sort of guy who will play through the pain,” Clarke said.
“Jonas is one of the few players who has played every game this season but I want to ensure he is available long term.”