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Alan Irvine sacked as West Brom boss after Stoke loss

Relegation chances with Coral West Bromwich Albion (15/8) have announced the sacking of boss Alan Irvine, following the club’s defeat to Stoke City in the Premier League, their seventh in their last nine.

The Baggies confirmed on their official website: “West Bromwich Albion tonight announce the departure of Alan Irvine as the club’s head coach.

“Irvine leaves the club with immediate effect and has been placed on gardening leave.

“Assistant head coach Rob Kelly, with the assistance of Keith Downing, will take charge of the team for the New Year’s Day game at West Ham [United]. Albion expect to be able to name Irvine’s successor by the weekend.”

Irvine had only been in the position for seven months, after taking over from Spaniard Pepe Mel who is now back at his native Real Betis until the end of the season, but West Brom are just one point above the drop zone this term.

The Baggies, although gained creditable results this season beating Tottenham away and drawing with Manchester United, have managed to take just 17 points from their opening 19 games.

West Brom’s technical director, Terry Burton, said: “We appointed Alan in the summer convinced that we had taken on one of the foremost coaches in the UK and nothing that has happened since then has altered our view.

“The individual progress of our players such as Craig Dawson and Saido Berahino are testament to that.

“But sadly that simply has not translated into results and they remain the ultimate currency of Alan’s position.

“Securing a sixth season in the Premier League is the over-riding target and sometimes unpleasant decisions have to be taken to serve that imperative,” he continued.

“Alan has impressed everyone with his manner, dedication and diligence but he knows that results have simply not been good enough.

“We place on record our gratitude for his efforts and hold nothing but good wishes for his future endeavours. This was a decision taken with regret but sadly driven by necessity.”

Tim Sherwood has emerged as the frontrunner to take over from the Scot, according to reports, despite seemingly turning the club down in the summer, while Tony Pulis’ name has also been mentioned. Chris Hughton and former Baggies boss Tony Mowbray’s names have also been thrown in the hat.

West Brom next face West Ham away on New Year’s Day, followed by an FA Cup clash with Gateshead at home two days later.