Irvine Taking The Cup Seriously
Head coach Alan Irvine has certainly done his homework ahead of our Capital One Cup game against Oxford United, and he's determined to progress in the competition.
Our gaffer took a trip to Morecambe to watch them play to aide his preparation work and speaking to wba.co.uk, whilst the usual caveats of a tough game apply to lower league sides looking for a scalp and raising their games, Irvine is pretty confident he knows exactly what we need to do to ensure we get through the round three.
'It's the way that I have always worked and will continue to work. It's a lot better to see players playing live. I was at Tottenham v QPR and the fact is that I will go whereever there is a game that is important to us.'
Irvine goes on to say that in his role now, taking in Morecambe v Oxford wouldn't be a game he normally takes in, even though he admits he'll take in as many Premiership games as he can, but the opportunity came up and he was free so for him it would've been churlish not to take that chance and see them for himself rather than just relying on other scouting reports - and ultimately he's happy he did.
'I am really glad that I did because I have a good idea what to expect. I met a few former Albion faces the other night (Michael Appleton is now in their hotseat) and they are looking forward to the occasion and I hope that they enjoy the occasion - but not the result.'
Confirming that to him the competition is 'really important' he states he really does want a cup run for the team this season and he feels everyone associated with the club from the board right through to the fans would welcome and relish that, so that's exactly what he's going to set out to do.
In terms of selections, you always expect some changes as other players get a chance, but Irvine also confirmed that he wouldn't just be throwing in those players who missed chunks of pre season because he could, they will only return when they are at a good enough level fitness wise for him to not think they will be a risk, either in terms of repeating the injury, nor in terms of affecting the result - in short whoever he selects are selected because he's confident they can see the game through and get us the victory.
'We won't choose anyone for the sake of giving them a run out. That will not happen. I will only put people in who I think are able to play at a good level in the game, it would be disrespectful to Oxford, and it's not going to be an easy game. I will approach this as a first team game, very much a game for people who are ready to play.'
On the selection score specifically, Australian Jason Davidson could be in line to make his full Albion debut as Sebastien Pocognoli has been ruled out with a thigh strain. Following the game with Southampton, Victor Anichebe is also out, but it's hoped both will be back in time for the weekend fixture.
Cristian Gamboa and James Morrison have also been named in the squad for the match, but Joleon Lescott will not be involved, nor will Georgios Samaras or Silvestre Varela.
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