Every word Alan Irvine said on Stockport win, FA Cup draw and West Ham’s ambitions


West Ham No 2 Alan Irvine was relieved Dawson’s winner saved West Ham from having to play another 30 minutes on Stockport’s heavy pitch.

We were looking at extra-time and that was becoming a realistic possibility and that would have meant playing on in even more difficult circumstances. The main thing is we are through. We were pleased with the way the players went about things.

One of the biggest worries about this tie was would your players think it would be easier than we knew it would be and we were pleased with their attitude. The goal was very good quality. Our football up to the final third was good, but we didn’t penetrate enough what was a very good and well-organised and a very hard-working and disciplined Stockport defence.

Any update on the striker search?

Not that I’m aware of.

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On the pitch.

You could see there were times when the ball got stuck, there were also times when the ball went quicker. It became more difficult.

On Issa Diop’s injury

He felt a little bit of a problem yesterday but said he was okay, and actually we did the work yesterday with Issa in the team. We came up last night and he was still not 100% sure that he was okay. We checked him again this morning and at that point, the decision was made that he wasn’t quite ready to play. So that was disappointing for Issa and disappointing for us because it would have been a good opportunity for him to get a game.

Did the tactics change because of the pitch?

Well, we were certainly in terms of build-up able to continue as we were doing. I did from where I was sitting feel that we needed to put some more crosses into the box than we had done previously because a lot of the play we had been trying to penetrate by sliding things through what was a very compact defence. But as it happens the goal came from first of all one cross that led to a corner and then another cross that obviously led to a fantastic header.

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On the next round v Doncaster and then potentially Manchester United or Liverpool. Where is the FA Cup on the list of priorities this season?

We would like to go as far as we could. You see the team we put out tonight, it’s certainly not one that would suggest that we wouldn’t take the competitions seriously.

Doncaster will be another tough game, we have no doubt about that. I look forward to seeing Darren when he comes – I know him well and like him a lot. We’ll try to deal with that one first of all and then think about whoever we get next because that will be pretty tough as well.





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