Club News

Irvine: Early blow rocked us

And Baggies boss admits defensive errors were costly

ALAN Irvine admitted his players never recovered psychologically from Nathan Dyer’s early blow in today’s disappointing 3-0 defeat at Swansea.

The Swans winger pounced on an unfortunate Jonas Olsson slip 87 seconds into the Liberty Stadium encounter to put the in-form hosts ahead.

Wayne Routledge’s world-class finish on 24 then punished further defensive errors to leave the Baggies with too much of a mountain to climb.

And Dyer wrapped up the points with his second of the game in the 71st minute.

“It couldn’t have been a worst start,” said Irvine.

“Psychologically it’s difficult to react in the right way to that kind of start.

“You spend a week trying to get ready for the game, develop a game plan - and then somebody slips.

“That can’t be legislated for.

“We spent the time in the dressing room prior to the game talking about how important a good start was – and we got the worst possible start.

“It gave Swansea a boost and makes what would have been a tough game an even tougher one.

“We were certainly rocked by that and gave the ball away too cheaply, especially in the final third.

“When things were looking like they might settle down we made another mistake.

“Before you know it you’re 2-0 down and you’re standing on the side desperate for half-time to come because we needed to get in, regroup and help the players mentally, and make some adjustments.

“Full marks to the players because they responded well to that half-time break and made fewer unforced errors, kept the ball better and created some chances.”

The Albion chief also revealed Olsson unexpectedly ran off down the tunnel in the 13th minute because he was missing a stud, which he suggested may have caused him to slip for the opening goal.

“He’d lost a stud at that moment and felt he was slipping every time he tried to move,” added Irvine.

“In the incident a stud came out and he came off to get another boot.

“I was surprised when he came running off.

“If he’d maybe told us we’d have got him one and brought it to him!”