Belfast Telegraph

Irvine: Baggies need to get going

Head coach Alan Irvine admits he is already under pressure - just five games into his West Brom reign.

The Baggies go to Tottenham on Sunday winless in the Barclays Premier League.

They were booed off after their 2-0 defeat to Everton last week and Irvine knows Albion must start producing.

"That's the nature of the job, anyone who's down the bottom end of the table is going to be in that position where they're under pressure," he told reporters.

"But it's four games in and it can change very quickly. I see Paul Lambert's been given a new contract and if I remember rightly, he was under a great deal of pressure last season and gone through some difficult times."

Irvine arrived in the summer and has not been able to play his full strength team with the likes of new-boy Joleon Lescott having only just recovered from a knee injury.

Record £10million buy Brown Ideye is also yet to settle but Irvine, whose only win has come on penalties against Oxford in the Capital One Cup, believes the Baggies will recover.

"Results don't help, that's for sure. Until we start winning games then it will be difficult for me to do that," he said.

"All I can say is that I believe we will get this right.

"The players are great to work with. It's a pleasure to work with them on a daily basis.

"They are very open to the work we're doing on the training ground and I feel really confident with the group of players we've got here and the work we'll do that we'll get good results."

They go to White Hart Lane with Spurs expected to recall Emmanuel Adebayor after their 0-0 Europa League draw at Partizan Belgrade.

Mauricio Pochettino's side have aspirations of returning to the Champions League and Irvine expects them to challenge for a top four spot.

"He inherited a good squad at Southampton and built on what Nigel Adkins was doing," he said.

"He got the Tottenham job and again inherited a very good squad with lots of good players and he is continuing to work well with them.

"I would expect them to be a team competing at the top level.

"There are probably seven teams competing for places in the top four and I would put Tottenham in among them."

Albion have not won at Spurs since November 1984 but Irvine - who has a fully fit squad for the first time this season - promised the Baggies will attack their hosts.

"You certainly have to be mindful of the way they can hurt you," he added.

"They've got a lot of attacking players and real threats from individuals.

"Their movement is very good, they combine very well and we saw from the team they were able to put out in the Europa League just how much attacking flair and how many options they've got.

"We have to be mindful of that but we've got to make sure we don't give them too much encouragement at the start.

"We need to be right defensively but we can't be passive. We can't just sit back and let Tottenham come at us for 90 minutes because, with the quality they have got, they will open you up.

"So we have to organised and structured but also positive and aggressive."

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