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McAuley still has a future with West Brom

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine has assured Gareth McAuley that he still has a future with the Baggies. He said of the Northern Ireland international defender: "I'm an admirer of Gareth McAuley. I said right from the beginning, when we brought Joleon in, we need four Premier League centre-backs and we've got four.

"I wouldn't want to lose Gareth. I know he's desperate to play but his opportunity could come at any moment. By the time he comes back from international games, who knows what could happen?

"Gareth is a really good centre-back and if we were to lose him we'd have a really big job on our hands trying to find someone as good as him." Irvine says he has also sought to address the issue of McAuley's future, with informal talks held.

He added: "My way is to sit down man to man, look them in the eye and tell them the situation.

"Gareth and I have already had a chat and he knows right now there are two centre-backs playing well.

"He's got to wait for his chance and he's got to take that chance, and the way he played against Hull showed he was ready and won't let us down if that comes. He trains really well."

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Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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