Club News

Irvine up for the cup

Irvine and Morrison target cup run

ALAN Irvine is planning to bring cup excitement to The Hawthorns tonight as the Baggies tackle Hull in an all-Premier League Capital One Cup third-round showdown.

Fans will be attempting to second guess Albion’s starting XI as the tie approaches, with both head coach Irvine and Hull boss Steve Bruce holding plenty of options.

But Irvine insists whatever his choice, the focus will remain unchanged.

“I was fortunate enough to play in the final of the League Cup in 1984 and that was a brilliant occasion,” he says.

“I’ve always thought it was an important competition and I am certainly not going to change my view about it.

“I would love to give the fans a really good cup run. It's an important competition, I have never seen fans of any club being disappointed to go to Wembley and play in a cup final, it would be brilliant if we could go and do that.”

Irvine admits he has choices to make and decisions to take as he ponders his line-up and the opportunity it provides to service players in need of game-time at this early stage of the campaign.

“It's one of the things I have got to consider,” he said. “I have got to consider a whole load of things. First of all I want to win the game, secondly I want to treat the competition in the right way because I do believe it's an important competition.

“Thirdly I have then got to decide on getting the balance between building on the Spurs performance and result and getting playing time into some players who didn't play on Sunday. There is a lot of thinking to be done.

“We will go in with our confidence high but we will also go in knowing it's a tough game. Steve will have a strong team - whatever way he decides to approach this, he has got a strong squad with a lot of very good players.

“I don't expect to see Steve's team being a weakened team and I am certainly not thinking of making ours a weakened team.”

James Morrison was Albion’s matchwinner against Tottenham on Sunday, netting the second-half header which clinched a 1-0 victory.

He was part of the Baggies side which made it to the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley in 2008 before narrowly losing out to Portsmouth.

And he admits he would love to have another shot at lifting a trophy with the club.

“Personally I would like a cup run,” the midfielder said. “In recent years we’ve been terrible in the cups.

“The last run we had was when we got to Wembley and what a great day it was, when we had a chance of getting to a final.

“Time is running out for me so I’m well up for the cup and we’ve got a squad to compete now.

“If you look at the bench there are a few starters on that bench so it will be up to the manager how he uses them.”