'Hurt' Irvine understands fans' frustrations

Alan Irvine says he was "hurt" by criticism from the West Brom fans, but understands their frustrations at recent results.

Trailing 1-0 to Arsenal in Saturday's Premier League clash, head coach Irvine brought on Georgios Samaras for Stephane Sessegnon with 15 minutes remaining.

The change failed to prompt an equaliser and was strongly questioned by sections of the home support.

Tuesday brings another fixture in front of the Hawthorns against West Ham and Irvine knows things need to improve in order to arrest a run of three straight defeats.

"It hurts. I'd be telling lies if I said it didn't sting," he said. "I made a decision that I thought might get us back into the game and it nearly worked.

"We were more dangerous in that last period of the game. It could have worked and people might have been feeling differently about it then.

"I can get just as frustrated as the fans can when these things don't come off. The players are working hard.

"The fans are our supporters, we're hoping they will be there to support us. I can't tell them they have to be patient.

"I'd like them to bear with us but I can't demand that. It's up to them how they want to react and behave when they come to the games.

"I know that it works both ways and we've got to give the fans things to cheer about.

"In the difficult times we probably could do with our fans being exactly that - our supporters.

"They want exactly the same as we all want. We all want to win games.

"We have a better chance of winning games if we're all together, the fans, the players, the whole club."