With the new season just two days away, Alan Irvine admits he is having difficulty in adding players to his West Bromwich Albion squad.
The Baggies endured a difficult time in 2013-14, with Steve Clarke losing his job before Christmas and his replacement, Pepe Mel, struggling to come to terms with life in England. It took the Spaniard seven games to register his first win in the Premier League, and he left at the end of the season after Albion avoided relegation by just three points.
Irvine, whose last managerial post came to an end when League One Sheffield Wednesday sacked him in February 2011, was the surprise appointment at the Hawthorns, after impressing during his time at Everton’s academy. However, the 56-year-old admits he has not found his opening couple of months in the job as easy as he would have liked.
“There are all sorts of things going on behind the scenes and Richard (Garlick), Terry (Burton), the recruitment staff and the chairman are all working extremely hard behind the scenes,” he said. “But it’s extremely difficult because you come up against dead ends on a number of occasions. I went to a managers’ meeting and Paul Lambert, Harry Redknapp and Steve Bruce were all saying the same things and have the same problems.”
The signing of Joleon Lescott was seen as a coup for Irvine, but the former Manchester City defender is currently sidelined with a knee injury. £10million has been spent on Dynamo Kiev striker Brown Ideye, whilst Craig Gardner arrives fro Sunderland on a free transfer and Liverpool’s Andre Wisdom has joined on loan for the campaign.