Club News

Irvine - Cup run-out was good for Ideye

Ideye needs momentum to make progress

FROM Nigeria to Switzerland, to France, to Ukraine and, finally, to West Bromwich.

Not even the No74 bus route would swing through Neuchatel or Kyiv en route to Dudley. 

Yet the long-haul journey through Europe is one that Brown Ideye had already undertaken before seeing out his mid-20s. 

Ideye finally got to blow out 26 birthday candles just a few weeks ago, as he recovered from a calf injury.

And that's been one of the problems: fitness. 

Having to catch up on his 'stats' following his move from Dynamo Kyiv to The Hawthorns was his first hurdle.

Getting to grips with English football was another. Away from the field, Ideye is a pleasant, smiley character who is always quick of the mark with cheery salute when you pass him in the training ground corridor.

The striker really is doing all he can to grasp life in the Black Country, life in the Barclays Premier League, life as a 'record signing', life as an Albion No.9. 

And it's on the pitch where it matters.

Ideye scored his first goal in Albion colours against Hull in the Capital One Cup - only to pick up his injury as he tucked the ball away. Typical.

Goals have generally come freely to Ideye in the past. Swiss club Neuchatel Xamax, Sochaux of France and Kyiv have all benefitted.

The Nigeria international is still trying to hit form at Albion. 

Alan Irvine believes Tuesday's outing at Bournemouth - albeit one cut short can only do Albion's record signing the world of good.

"He needed that game," said Irvine.

"Hopefully it will do him a lot of good.

"It has been very frustrating for him and for us as well. Having scored his first goal he got injured and that was a shame. 

"We've seen many times in the past that when a striker scores he cannot stop scoring after that."

The notion of a footballer settling in is often taken for granted by fans.

Irvine admits it is a significant transition.

He continued: "Saido scoring frequently has given him that extra time to get fit and given him an opportunity to get settled in the area and get to know people. 

"I hate to think how I'd have managed if I was to move to Ukraine so it's not easy for him. A Nigerian, who was in Ukraine, coming to England - it's a big life change.

"We hope Brown ends up being a great signing for us.

"If he can we will be delighted."