Club News

Irvine proud of Albion 'quality'

Head coach pleased for players and fans

Alan Irvine hailed Albion’s outstanding victory at Tottenham as a triumph of quality, structure and energy.

The Baggies celebrated a first Premier League win of the season thanks to a 74th minute James Morrison header direct from a Chris Brunt corner.

It was a victory that was no more than deserved by an Albion team which included Joleon Lescott for the first time this season.

And although the England international enjoyed a superb debut, Irvine was eager to hail a team performance which had no weaknesses.

“I think we were good value for the win,” said the head coach. 

“We knew we had to work hard, to keep our structure and our organisation which we did. 

"But we knew we could not be passive against a team of this quality because they will eventually pick you off. 

"I thought we produced football of quality when we had the opportunity.

“I am being asked if I am relieved and I suppose there is an element of that. 

"But the over-riding emotion is one of pleasure – for the club and everyone in it, for the players and of course for the fans.”

Albion could have won by a bigger margin with Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris producing top saves to defy Craig Gardner and Saido Berahino while Lescott was denied a certain debut goal by his own team mate – Craig Dawson inadvertently blocking a left-foot pile-driver bound for the top corner. 

“We were comfortable and had a good shape about when we were in possession,” added Irvine.

“We had no need to be negative and we kept two strikers up top throughout until the end. This is a Spurs side of great quality and the concentration levels of the players has to be total – which they were.

“But it has already been said in the dressing room – that’s the standard. That’s the level we have set ourselves and the level we must maintain.”

Irvine was also eager to thank Albion’s travelling contingent who made a point of backing skipper Brunt after a week in which the criticism he has been receiving from certain sections has been in the news.

“The fans were magnificent and I was particularly delighted to hear the way they got behind Chris,” added Irvine. “He has been such a key member of this squad and continues to be so as we saw with his performance here.”

Albion now begin preparing for back-to-back home games against Hull, in Wednesday’s Capital Cup clash, and then Burnley in the Premier League next Sunday.