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West Brom to choose between Pulis and Sherwood after sacking Irvine

• Tim Sherwood and Tony Pulis in frame to take over
• Alan Irvine put on gardening leave after half a season
• Stoke defeat sends Irvine to the brink

West Bromwich Albion’s search for a new head coach will come down to a straight choice between Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood after Alan Irvine was sacked on Monday night. Although Sherwood has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite, the early indications are that Pulis, because of his achievements at Crystal Palace last season and the experience he has accumulated across a managerial career in which he has never been relegated, is the club’s preferred option.

Albion do not anticipate widening their search further and hope to be in a position to confirm Irvine’s replacement by the end of the week, with Rob Kelly and Keith Downing, two of the Scot’s backroom staff, placed in charge of the team for the New Year’s Day fixture at West Ham United.

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