sport

Irvine gives players leeway

​Alan Irvine expects to give his West Brom players 'a little bit of leeway' once the dust settles on their penalty shoot-out victory over Oxford United in the Capital One Cup.

The team currently bottom of the Football League took their Premier League hosts all the way to penalties before Albion prevailed 7-6 to reach the third round.

Australian defender Jason Davidson scored the winning spot-kick after Oxford captain Jake Wright had seen his effort saved by Boaz Myhill.

West Brom, with seven changes from the side that started against Southampton at the weekend, looked lively early on and made the breakthrough just before the half-hour mark through Jonny Mullins' own goal.

It looked like Mullins' misfortune would be enough to see West Brom sneak through but Danny Hylton headed the equalising goal with four minutes remaining and Oxford could have nicked it in extra time before they found themselves hanging on after Junior Brown's red card.

"We started well in the early part of the game and looked a threat, moving the ball well," said Baggies boss Irvine.

"We then got a bit careless, probably around the 20-minute mark, but we recovered and finished the first half quite well.

"In the second half, we were comfortable but then lost our discipline and started making some really poor decisions. We turned a comfortable game into a really uncomfortable one.

"But Oxford played really well and deserve credit because they certainly capitalised when we became ragged. They got their reward with the equaliser which, to be honest, looked like it was coming.

"But I've got to be careful what I say because I'm disappointed with how we played but then I have got to keep in mind how many players were playing for the first time. Some were playing their first game this season.

"The likes of Claudio Yacob and Chris Baird were playing their first competitive game (of the season). Other players like Jason Davidson were making their first start, likewise Gareth McAuley and Boaz Myhill. James Morrison, Stephane Sessegnon and Brown Ideye are other players too.

"These players were just getting their boots on for the first time so when I feel a little bit less raw than I am now, I will probably give them a little bit of leeway. You can lose discipline and make bad decisions as you start to get tired."