Club News

Irvine yet to decide on Gardner stand-in

Midfield place still up for grabs

ALAN Irvine claims one midfield role remains up for grabs ahead of this Sunday's televised clash with Newcastle United.

The Baggies will be without Craig Gardner after the in-form midfielder picked up his fifth yellow card of the season during Saturday's victory at Leicester.

Irvine has several options available to him but claims a decision has yet to be made.

"It's going to always be horses for courses," said the Albion head coach. 

"I pick the team based on what I think the opposition strength and weaknesses are.

"With Gards having picked up the fifth booking there is a place going to be open for somebody else.

"It's important then they take that chance when they get it."

Claudio Yacob is one of the candidates to step in for Gardner, with Youssouf Mulumbu also an option.

The Argentina international returned to England last week following his recent trip back to his homeland due to a family illness.

Speaking about Yacob, Irvine continued: "He was a bit disappointed that we didn't take him down to Bournemouth but you are looking at individual needs and Claudio had been away for ten days back in Argentina. 

"He had just flown back in and wouldn't have been ready down at Bournemouth.

"But he trained really, really well last week and I felt that he was a real option for us on the bench and there was a real chance with the way I felt the game might go here that we would need him at some point.

"He came on against Leicester and he did a really good job for us."