Irvine won’t shirk challenge

The Baggies have won just one of their last eight league games and are only two points above the relegation zone ahead of a tricky trip to the Potteries.

But Scot Irvine claims he has reasons to be encouraged. His side built up a 2-0 advantage with some impressive attacking play against QPR last weekend – only to capitulate and lose – and individual errors hampered them in the 3-1 home defeat by Manchester City.

Irvine said: “It will be a very tough game at Stoke – it is a hard place to go. They are a team who are capable of causing you a lot of problems.

“But we will do the work we normally do on them and hopefully that will get us a good result.

“They had a good result against Everton and will be feeling good about that, so it is a big challenge – but if we can eradicate the individual errors then when are good enough to cause them problems.

“All I can do is keep trying to do the job in the way I that I do it. I work extremely hard. I try to leave nothing to chance.”

Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans could return for Albion after illness and a calf strain but striker Victor Anichebe remains on the sidelines.

Captain Chris Brunt could come back into Irvine’s starting line-up after making his comeback from a hamstring injury off the bench against City.