Club News

Irvine reflects on Swansea test

Baggies boss hoping his new-look side can trouble tried and tested Swans

ALAN Irvine admits tomorrow’s Liberty Stadium clash (ko 3pm) will pit an Albion side in transition against the tried and tested methods employed by Swansea.

The Baggies boss is still in the process of bedding ten summer signings into his squad.

While Swans manager Garry Monk has made minor changes to the squad and playing style he inherited from Michael Laudrup last term.

Both teams go into the South Wales encounter unbeaten, with the visitors recording draws against Sunderland and Southampton and the hosts victories over Manchester United and Burnley.

“It’s a difficult game and not many teams go to Old Trafford and win, and they followed that up with a very good win against a team who have just been promoted,” said Irvine.

“Garry’s had a more settled group of players and a group who know the way they play.

“They have a very clear playing style and philosophy laid down over a number of years and Garry was part of that as a player.

“Very sensibly he’s not come in and changed that. 

"He’s kept what they’ve got and so it’s very easy for them to recognise the profile of players they want to bring in to fit into that style.

“Gary has done a smashing job so far because there could have been a temptation to make a whole load of changes but they still look like the Swansea team we’ve seen for a number of years.

“They pass the ball really well, their movement is good, they’ve got threats from wide areas and in midfield and if you don’t set up well against them, and are not well organised, they will open you up.

“They have shown that in the league games they have had this season.

“When you do have possession you’ve got to use it well, be patient and look for chances to penetrate because if you don’t use it well you’ll be spending a lot of time chasing after it.

“It will be a tough game for us but hopefully a tough game for them too.”