Irvine reveals reason why new signing has not been playing

Greece Flag

Alan Irvine says that West Bromwich Albion's Georgios Samaras has not been playing regularly, because he is short of fitness.

Alan Irvine says that Georgios Samaras hasn't been given more game time at West Bromwich Albion yet because he is not up to scratch fitness wise.

The attacker was signed on a free transfer this summer, but he has failed to make too much of an impact at the Hawthorns so far.

This, Irvine believes, is because he is some way behind the rest of the squad in terms of fitness.

The Baggies manager had wanted to keep Samaras on the training ground over the international break, but he went off to play in Greece's Euro 2016 qualifiers - which added to Irvine's frustrations. 

The Scottish boss is now hoping that the game time he would have got with his country can help aid his progress with West Brom.

"It's a shame because he went away for two international matches that he knew he wasn't going to play in from the start and he missed the work the other boys got back here during that period," he said on the club's official site. 

"That's frustrating but he is the captain of his country, he's gone away on international duty and he's a really important player to them.

"What I am hoping is he gets some really good match time in these games and that means he comes back closer to where he needs to be.

"I am sure he would be the first to admit he is way off what he is able to be physically."

Samaras's most notable impact so far in a West Brom shirt was against Burnley. 

The Midlands side managed to come up 4-0 winners in the match, with the Greek international coming on as a late substitute and Irvine saw flashes in the game to suggest that he could be an important player in the future.

"There is real talent there, the little pass for the fourth goal against Burnley, that's the kind of thing we might see," he said.

"Somebody who can play that really fine pass that opens the door - but also somebody who can score goals."

Samaras will be hoping to play a part in West Brom's next fixture, when they take on Manchester United on Monday night. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch