A share of the spoils means both managers are awaiting their first wins since taking charge during a summer period that saw overhauls of both squads. Graziano Pelle was brought in by Koeman to provide goals but he struggled to make an impact, while Irvine’s club-record acquisition Brown Ideye came off the bench and almost marked his debut with a winning goal for the Baggies.
But all in all, it was a game worthy of its scoreline and Saints boss Koeman was under no illusions that there is yet more work to be done on his squad before the close of the window.
“We know inside what we need in the time we have,” he said. “We will work to bring in one or two players. We need that — it will be a long season in England and on Tuesday we play in the League Cup, and with that you need enough players of quality to give the competition in the squad.”
Irvine, too, knows what kind of targets he will be chasing in the coming days.
“We’re looking to bring in another couple of players before the window shuts,” he said. “They’re at the top end of the pitch, creative players.”
The start of the Koeman era on the south coast will prove instantly forgettable when compared to the impressive performance his new-look side put in at Anfield last weekend.
Saints may have lost 2-1 to Liverpool but Koeman felt his side were more at the races than they were in front of their own fans and praised Fraser Forster for making a late save to deny Brown Ideye a dream debut.
SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Steven Davis (Long 46), Ward-Prowse (Cork 78), Tadic, Pelle.
Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Gardos, Taider, Hooiveld, Isgrove. WEST BROM: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli (Davidson 60), Berahino (Sessegnon 89), Gardner, Mulumbu, Brunt, Dorrans, Anichebe (Ideye 52).
Subs not used: Baird, Yacob, Myhill, McAuley.
Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).