Alan Irvine revealed his relief after watching Albion narrowly beating League Two outfit Oxford United on penalities in the Carling Cup second round.
The Baggies took the lead in the 29th minute courtesy of an own-goal. After coasting for the majority of the game, Oxford scored a deserved equaliser four minutes from time when Danny Hylton buddle home from close range.
The visitors were the better side in extra time but Jason Davidson kept his cool to score the winning penalty for Albion – after James Morrison and Brown Ideye had missed.
“We made it hard work,” Irvine admitted.
“I felt we started well and had four or five shots in the early part of the game.
“We looked a real threat, moved the ball well, then we got a bit careless about the 20-minute mark.
“We recovered prior to half-time and finished the half quite well.
“In the second half I felt we were comfortable then we lost our shape and discipline, and started making some really poor decisions.
“We turned what was looking like a comfortable game into something extremely uncomfortable.
“Oxford deserve loads of credit – they played extremely well. They capitalised when we got ragged and lost our discipline, and they got their reward with the equaliser.
“I’m disappointed how we played but must bear in mind how many of the players were playing for the first time this season – never mind for the first time in a competitive game - like Claudio Yacob and Chris Baird.
“There were a lot of players getting their boots on for real for the first time, like Gareth McAuley, Jason Davidson, Boaz Myhill, James Morrison, Stephane Sessegnon and Brown Ideye.
“Later when I’m feeling a bit less raw I’ll give them a little bit of leeway.
“You can lose discipline and make bad decisions as you start to get tired and that is something I’ll need to take into consideration.”
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