Irvine fights to win round sceptics

first_img Victory would move the Baggies level on points with United to underline their revival but Irvine knows their form must continue. He said: “People have been really friendly from day one. I have had West Brom fans coming up to me in all sorts of places and on every occasion they have been extremely friendly, encouraging and complimentary. “I guess it’s harder for them to be rude to my face but they probably wouldn’t come up if that was the case. “I can’t control if the fans like me. I would obviously like them to like me and think I was doing a good job but the only thing which will convince them about that is the results the players get.” The Baggies host Manchester United on Monday after Irvine shrugged off a rocky start to begin to recover at the Hawthorns. Albion have won three of their last four games in all competitions and were unlucky to lose 2-1 at Liverpool last time out in the Barclays Premier League. Alan Irvine has admitted even the West Brom players would have questioned his appointment. The run comes after Irvine failed to win in his first four league games, leading to early rumblings of discontent from Albion fans who had been unconvinced by his arrival. Irvine, who replaced Pepe Mel, has praised his players for their recent form but admitted even they may have needed assurances he was the right man. He said: “The players have been brilliant, from the very start they have been brilliant. It wouldn’t have just been the fans thinking ‘is this the right appointment?’ “I’m quite sure the players would have wondered about that. But from the first day they have been extremely welcoming and unbelievably responsible. “They go around their training in a great way. I do know there’s a good feeling among the players at this time and they are happy with the work they are doing. They are happy we are progressing but they also know we all need to be better. “The fortunate thing from my point of view is they are all pulling in the same direction. Part of my job is to keep them pulling in the same direction.” Irvine was unable to pick his full-strength side in the opening weeks and still has Porto loanee Silvestre Varela out after groin surgery. Victor Anichebe is also a doubt for Monday’s game after hernia trouble but captain Chris Brunt is expected to be fit after he suffered a groin problem on international duty with Northern Ireland. Press Associationlast_img

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