sport

Irvine has 'big gaps' to fill

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine is pleased with how his squad is shaping up, but acknowledges that there are 'big gaps' to fill.

Since inheriting the managerial reins at The Hawthorns, Irvine has been able to bring in free agents Joleon Lescott, Chris Baird and Craig Gardner.

He has seen other targets slip through his grasp, with Emmanuel Riviere's decision to join Newcastle United leaving West Brom disappointed.

Irvine is working hard, though, with chairman Jeremy Peace to get further quality additions on board and plug the gaps that he feels still exist in his Premier League ranks.

He said in the Express and Star: \"We have good players here, no question, but there are big gaps.

\"That can be a threat to us or an opportunity and it depends on the quality of players we can get.

\"Even when you look for full-backs now, the prices have changed as a result of what happened with Luke Shaw.

\"Players are worth a lot more than before and that makes it more difficult for us because we have a budget and every pound we can save in one position, we can use in another.

\"The players have been fantastic, but there is loads to be done still.

\"We are doing a lot of work behind the scenes, but nowadays it's harder getting signings over the line than it used to be.\"