10 September 2014 16:22
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has spoken of his respect for West Brom counterpart Alan Irvine ahead of Saturday’s clash at The Hawthorns.
Irvine – who played for Everton and managed the club’s academy between 2011 and 2014 – left the club to take on the top job at West Brom in June.
Neither side have started well in the current campaign with just two points from their first three Premier League matches.
And although Martinez spoke of Irvine in glowing terms, he added that Everton would be showing his side no mercy.
“It will be nice to see Alan. He’s a gentleman and a footballing person that everyone has huge respect for,” Martinez told City Talk.
“He did a terrific job at our club in different roles and we wish him the very best of luck in his new project – but just not for this weekend.
“He has given a lot of effort and good planning with our academy. We had a lot of good work from him and his footballing vision and previously he had a very important job as assistant manager.
“I’m sure that good feeling is going to be shared for many years to come and will never be affected by whatever happens on Saturday.
“We know a lot of the individuals there and obviously the manager had been a part of our fabric for a long time so you can imagine that it’s going to be a lot of understanding between the two teams.
“But both teams realise it is a very important football game and we will need to be very focused and put in a good performances.
“It’s a game we need to perform in and get a positive result.”