Club News

Irvine salutes strike duo

Head coach praises pre-season efforts of Berahino and Anichebe

ALAN Irvine hailed the goal threat of Saido Berahino and Victor Anichebe as Albion wrapped up a nigh-on perfect trip to California with a 3-1 victory at Sacramento Republic.

Berahino opened the scoring with a clinical 18-yard volley and after Youssouf Mulumbu had added a fine second on the half-hour mark, Anichebe topped the lot with a 25-yard rocket on 62 – his second in three friendlies.

JJ Koval grabbed a 73rd-minute consolation for the hosts, but Albion saw out the final stages at Bonney Field in comfortable fashion.

While Albion fans anticipate the first glimpse of new club-record signing Brown Ideye pulling on a Baggies shirt and playing up front, Irvine has been given a timely reminder of the forward talent he already has at his disposal.

“I’ve been absolutely delighted with Victor and Saido,” he said.

“They’ve been terrific since I came in, both day in and day out in training and also in the games.”

Albion fly back home from the States on Saturday and Irvine is delighted with how the squad’s nine-day stay has progressed.

“It’s been a terrific week,” said the Scot.

“We’ve been really well looked after and we’ve nothing to complain about at all.

“The training ground’s been good, the weather’s obviously been fantastic, the hotel’s been great and we’ve been looked after really well.

“Off the pitch it’s been fantastic, while on it the boys have done a lot of really good work.”

Irvine revealed that he hopes to have the remainder of his injured players – Joleon Lescott and Gareth McAuley – back in full training next week.

“I suppose the only downside to the trip is that we didn’t have everybody fit throughout,” he reflected.

“But it was a real bonus to get Chris Brunt for the last two days, and James Morrison for the last day, in terms of training.

“I’m hoping we’ll have all of them back by Wednesday.”