Club News

Irvine: Penalty was turning point

Head coach blames spot-kick for defeat

ALAN Irvine felt Queens Park Rangers' penalty was the turning point in a game he felt his Albion side deserved to win.

The Baggies head coach was bitterly disappointed following his team's defeat, after they had claimed an early 2-0 lead.

Irvine believes the spot-kick decision - along with Rob Green's save from Stephane Sessegnon a few minutes earlier - turned the game on its head in the 24th minute when James Morrison was deemed to have grappled Leroy Fer.

Referee Craig Pawson awarded the penalty, which Charlie Austin converted - his first of a hat-trick.

Irvine said: "It was a soft penalty. The referee had a decision to make - I'm not sure they get given every week, but it was this week. 

"If it was for us I'd still be thinking it would be soft but I'd be delighted to take it as I'm sure Harry Redknapp will be.

"That was a turning point, as was the save by Rob Green just before that."

Albion host Manchester City on Boxing Day.

Irvine believes it will be easy to lift his players, despite today's dispiriting outcome.

"It's a lot harder to lift players if you play badly but we didn't play badly," he said. 

"We need to take the positives and build on that.

"We're all bitterly disappointed but there are plenty of things we can say 'well done' about. We need to go into the next game with belief.

"We didn't exactly surrender it but we lost it. It was bitterly disappointing because for the majority of the game we were the better team. We controlled it for long periods but we didn't defend well which, for us, conceding three corners, was uncharacteristic."