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Irvine clings defiantly to job in face of fans' abuse

ALAN IRVINE insisted abuse from West Brom fans would not force him to quit - but once again admitted the sack could be looming for him after his side lost 2-0 at Stoke.

The defeat was the Baggies' seventh in nine Barclays Premier League games and they finish 2014 in 16th place in the table, a point above the relegation zone.

Away supporters at the Britannia Stadium hurled flak at Irvine after the final whistle as he made his way towards the tunnel, and the Scot stressed in his post-match press conference he could understand them voicing their frustration.

Despite the vitriol, Irvine, only appointed over the summer, remains determined to turn things around and is adamant he is the man to do so.

But at the same time, two days after saying he could not necessarily be confident he will be given the chance by the West Brom hierarchy, the 56-year-old has again conceded his future is out of his hands.

Asked if he still felt he would be in his job by the new year, Irvine said: "I hope so, but I'm not in control of that, so I don't know.

"I believe I am (capable of turning things around) and I think the players believe we all are as well.

TURNING

"But obviously, it is other people who will make decisions as far as that is concerned. I want to carry on. I want to still do this job and I want to see it turning around, and that is not going to change."

Regarding the criticism he received from the stands, Irvine said: "I can understand that people are frustrated - I'm frustrated, and so are the players.

"I can understand fans expressing that frustration. That is the nature of the job. If anyone is to take it, I am the person that is standing there. I stand out there and I don't hide - I'm there to be shot it. And, obviously, ultimately I make the final decisions, so, certainly, I'm prepared to take the criticism."

He added: "I don't know if they (the fans) would have necessarily wanted me to acknowledge them (as he walked past them at the end).

"What do you do in those circumstances? I just walked down the tunnel.

"I am bitterly disappointed as well - it means an awful lot to me, and I know it means an awful lot to them."


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