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Irvine sets challenge

28 December 2014

Irvine issues Stoke rallying call

ALAN Irvine believes Albion will need 'strong characters' to help overcome their poor form.

The Baggies take on Stoke City today hoping to arrest their dip in fortunes.

Irvine felt his players showed spirit during the second-half against Manchester City on Boxing Day, despite a poor opening period.

He hopes to see more of that when they take on the Potters.

“It’s a very tough game. Obviously it’s a hard place to go and they’re a team who are capable of causing you a lot of problems," continued Irvine.

“But we will do the work that we normally do on them and hopefully that will get us a good result.

“They had a good result (at Everton) on Boxing Day and they will be feeling good about that.

“You don’t become a Premier League player if you can’t cope with set-backs and if you are not mentally tough.

“It is one of the characteristics that you have to have. If you don’t have it then you tend to play at a lower level.

“It’s very difficult for you to be a Premier League player over a number of seasons and not be able to bounce back. It was pleasing to see the response in the second half and especially in very difficult circumstances because everybody knew we had created our own problems We need strong characters."

Irvine hopes to have Graham Dorrans back for today's game.

But Victor Anichebe remains sidelined.

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