Club News

That was the summer that was - final part

Chairman praises Irvine work-ethic

JEREMY Peace has praised the work-ethic and diligence of Alan Irvine as the club’s new head coach has confronted the Barclays Premier League challenge.

The Albion chairman earlier this week spoke of a “happier” club emerging from last season’s survival scare and believes Irvine has played a significant role in restoring harmony.

“At the end of last season, we knew we were going to have to do some work with the squad but we also wanted to carry on with the coaching tradition,” he said. 

“Terry (Burton)’s top recommendation as head of football was always Alan and he came through the process very strongly.
“By the end of it we thought 'Yes,' he would be our No. 1 choice. He has been very good to work with throughout this window. He has been very diligent, he hasn't just chucked names in in terms of players to come into the squad.

“He has thought long and hard about it, spent a lot of time studying the targets, looking at all the clips and working with Terry. He is in here very early, he leaves very late. He is well organised. I can't fault him at all on his work-ethic.

“He seems to have a good rapport with the players and he is very down to earth. He is a good bloke, a good man. So far so good I would say.

“Obviously you have got to get results, it's a results based business but I think he gets that. He has set his stall out well.”

But the chairman has sympathy for Irvine having to start the season three games before the transfer window is shut.

He remains convinced that it favours the spending power of the Premier League’s elite top six and burdens the clubs fighting to stay in touch.

Peace has repeatedly backed a change in the current system but reluctantly acknowledges it is a battle nigh impossible to win.

“If you spoke to the other clubs in the Premier League they would all say it’s not ideal,” he said.

“We are all the same in our little league (outside the top six).

“My ideal would be that everyone would get the opportunity to complete their squads and then the season would start.

“No player would then be unsettled thinking that they might still be moving and worried about getting injured.

“We have raised it with the Premier League and said: ‘Close the transfer window at the start of the season.’

“But they mention the League Cup, the FA Cup, no winter break and the fact that World Cups and European Championships eat into the window.

“All of these things mean we can’t do it so we’re stuck with it.

“If we could do it I would certainly be in favour because it would remove a whole load of uncertainty.

“It must be a nightmare for those who have just been promoted.

“You try to get things done as early as possible but sometimes you can’t."