Head coach bemoans individual errors
ALAN Irvine claims Albion made life unnecessarily hard for themselves in the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The Baggies fell 3-0 behind during a first-half littered with individual errors - including a penalty awarded against Joleon Lescott, that led to City's second goal.
The ex-City defender was deemed to have fouled David Silva.
Their first goal, scored by Fernando, came after Ben Foster spilled the ball.
Irvine thought the decision to award the spot-kick was incorrect, but admitted that uncharacteristic mistakes were key to the overall outcome of the game, which was played in tough second-half conditions caused by heavy snow.
"It was very difficult for us to come back in the circumstances," said Irvine, reflecting on his side's poor opening.
"The biggest thing I was interested in seeing is whether the players would be mentally strong enough, which they were.
"To be 3-0 down against a team of such quality was difficult to cope with. Full marks to them. They showed mental strength and keep on playing. They deserve credit for that.
"It was a challenge for them. I needed to see that toughness and not crumble. It's easy to say it but they did that too.
"Players who are generally reliable made individual errors. It's a surprise when any one of those players make a mistake, let alone three that have cost us.
"They are human. They will make mistakes - it's how you deal with those."
He continued: "It wasn't a penalty in my view. Joleon got the ball and claimed it from the start.
"I couldn't believe a penalty had been given. I've seen it again and he does get the ball in my view.
"As a result we gave ourselves a mountain to climb."