Irvine calls for Baggies unity

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Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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Head coach Alan Irvine called for unity at West Brom after fans turned on him at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies slipped to their fourth straight defeat after they went down 2-1 at home to West Ham on Tuesday.

Fans chanted ‘Taxi for Irvine’ as their frustrations grew with the Baggies having won just three times at home in the Barclays Premier League in 2014.

Irvine replaced Pepe Mel in the summer but is already having to defend his position and insisted they must stick together.

“It’s not going to help, it doesn’t make it any easier,” he said. “The fans have come in and they support the team and have every right to behave in whichever way they choose.

“But we are a lot better and stronger if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

“I spent three years out of senior football and I certainly don’t feel as if I don’t want to put myself through it.

“It wasn’t that long ago Sam (Allardyce) was going through all sorts. Name a manager and they have been through it at some point, it comes with the territory.”

Craig Dawson had given the Baggies the perfect start but Kevin Nolan and James Tomkins – his first goal in over two years – struck before the break to win it for the Hammers.

Dawson, Victor Anichebe and Graham Dorrans went close for Albion in the second half but they are now two points above the drop zone in 16th.

Irvine said: “I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in such a one-sided half when you don’t get something out of it.

“It was astonishing, we had so much of the play and spent the whole of the half in their half. We had countless attempts and didn’t score.

“It (four straight defeats) is really difficult to take and it is probably not a true reflection on the way the team has performed.”

In contrast, West Ham are fifth after back-to-back wins and boss Allardyce hailed their form.

“We’re going to win the league now,” he joked. “Our summer of hard work and recruitment is paying off now. Our strength in depth is standing us in good stead now because we’re having to use our squad to the maximum.

“It wasn’t a brilliant second half but it was resilient, coming from going behind and taking complete control of the game for the rest of the first half.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t create more clear chances in the second half because I thought we were going to really push on. But to have seven efforts on target and five off by half time showed we were in dominant mood.

“Twenty four points at this stage of the season – that’s one hell of a turnaround from this time last year when we were almost in the bottom three.”

Published: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 by The News Editor

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