Baird claims errors, not changes, were to blame for cup exit
CHRIS Baird says basic errors and not Albion’s Capital One Cup “selection swap” were at the heart of last night's Bournemouth blow.
The Baggies' hopes of an extended run in one of the major KO competitions ended amid deep disappointment with a 2-1 defeat at Championship Bournemouth on Tuesday night.
Head coach Alan Irvine stuck with his strategy of using the competition to give his fringe players another desperately-needed run-out.
But the defeat sparked more debate among Albion fans about a selection policy followed by previous team gaffers too.
Irvine made 10 changes and although it was all-but the same line-up which played so impressively in beating Premier League Hull City in the previous round, a below-par performance triggered plenty of frustration.
But as one of the players given a rare run-out – Baird has not played for Albion since the first round win over Oxford on August 26 – the Northern Ireland international feels the club have little choice.
“Every club changes selection,” he said.
“We need games and it’s the perfect chance to show what we can do. It’s important for us to keep up our fitness so that when we’re needed in the Premier League we can step up.
“Every team does it; we’re not the only one. It’s just that it didn’t work out and we’re very disappointed by that.
“The performance wasn’t good enough and it was particularly disappointing to throw it away just 10 seconds after equalising.
“We gave the ball away twice, especially in conceding the first goal, but to give away the goal as we did again was a big disappointment for us. It is said when you score you are never more vulnerable and we proved that point.”
Baird added: “We wanted a good Cup run and thought we could progress but we have to give credit to Bournemouth who played really well and took their chances.
“We can’t change anything now. But most of us haven’t been playing and I think that was a major factor. What’s important now is the Premier League and you hope that playing last night will help some of the lads ready to step up for that when they are needed.”