Alan Irvine: 'We were cautious with Joleon Lescott'

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine admits that he was reluctant to play Joleon Lescott before he was 100% fit in their Premier League campaign.

West Bromwich Albion head coach Alan Irvine has revealed that he was cautious with the fitness of Joleon Lescott before allowing the defender to make his first start for the club.

The 32-year-old made his debut for the Baggies, following his summer switch from Manchester City, in their 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, after being held out of their first four matches due to injury.

"We would have been taking a big risk with Joleon had we put him in before he was ready and I hope the fans understand that," Irvine told reporters.

"I keep trying to explain that we want to put people in the team but they have to be ready.We already had a setback with him in the pre-season friendly at [Nottingham] Forest but we felt he was ready this week.

"There were no niggles or aches after his work, everything was good and it was also the right opportunity to put him in."

The Baggies are 16th in the Premier League after five matches this season.

Manager Alan Irvine of West Brom looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and West Bromwich Albion at St Mary's Stadium on August 23, 2014
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