Club News

Irvine: Injuries and absent players are stretching us

Boss disappointed to lose 100 per cent record to 'poor' goal

ALAN Irvine was disappointed to see Albion’s 100 per cent pre-season winning record end with a 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.

But the Baggies boss admits injuries and absent players are making life difficult for his new club.

Matty Fryatt capitalised on a Sebastien Pocognoli mistake to score the solitary goal of the City Ground encounter.

But Irvine insists his starting line-up against the Championship outfit was not ideal, with several players playing out of position.

“It was a disappointing result because we’ve won all our previous games so we didn’t want that to happen, clearly,” he said.

“It was a poor goal to concede. It was disappointing to get beaten as easily as that.

“You don’t mind losing to good goals and goals where the team have had to work really hard.

“But it was a long diagonal, which we didn’t deal with.”

Irvine added: “It was a mixture today.

“We were trying to find a way of playing, trying to find a team.

“We’re really stretched at this moment in time.

“We’re so thin on the ground that we’re trying to look after people.

“We took Saido [Berahino] off because he was just feeling a bit tight.

“We actually put a team out in training yesterday and had to change that today, prior to the game.

“That was a bit of a blow – but these things happen.

“I felt in the first half we started quite well and finished the half quite well without ever looking like a real threat.

“We were able to change things at half-time.

“Victor Anichebe, who should have started and didn’t because of illness, came on and I think made a difference.

“We looked much more of a threat going forward in the second half.

“We had a number of chances - and you have to take them.

“To be fair, a couple of them fell to young Kemar Roofe.

“It would have been great for him if he had scored but clearly he didn’t manage to finish them off.”

Irvine confirmed work behind the scenes to bring in more attacking players continues.

But he was today without club record signing Brown Ideye, who is still awaiting his visa in Nigeria, Stephane Sessegnon, who is on African Nations Cup qualifying duty with Benin, and the injured James Morrison (knee).

“We don’t have enough players in the forward areas at this moment in time,” he admitted.

“Sess is on international duty.

“We could have stopped that but he was desperate to go and play and it’s difficult to look a player in the eye and say 'we’re not letting you go for a qualifying match because we might need you for part of a friendly'.

“I couldn’t possibly do that to him, it would have been totally unfair.

“Brown is still waiting and we’re still waiting for him.

“It’s a big blow because we completed the deal quite a while ago now and we’ve still not seen him.

“We’re still looking for players in wide areas.

“You can see we’ve got some lads having to play out of position - like Craig Gardner and Graham Dorrans - not because I want them to play out of position but because that’s where we are at the moment.

“Everyone knows we didn’t have any full-backs and any wide players at the beginning when I first came in.

“We’ve now got a better full-back situation but even there we’re still a bit light.

“With Brunt coming back that gives us something down the left-hand side but we’re still looking in the wide areas and up front.”