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‘It’s not enough’ – Valerien Ismael reveals what West Brom need more of

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West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael has claimed his side are still yet to mark their territory at The Hawthorns and make the stadium a fortress, also calling for more consistency at home as he spoke to the Express and Star.

The Baggies have been unbeaten at home in the league so far this season, winning six and drawing three of their nine fixtures in the West Midlands and utilising this to remain in third place at this current stage.

Their recent away form has been in stark contrast to this though, losing their last three league fixtures, scoring once and conceding six during this torrid mini-run.

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This has arguably made their home form more vital, but tripped up against Middlesbrough in their last match as they were only able to win a point from this clash against the Teesside outfit, initially falling behind in the 38th minute through Josh Coburn and going in at half-time 1-0 down.

Against a side that had lost their last two games against Birmingham City and Luton Town, this was a disappointing result for Ismael’s men who also suffered another two frustrating home draws against Millwall and Derby County back in September.

Currently sitting six points behind second-placed Fulham, these missed opportunities have created a noticeable gap between the top two and West Brom as well as others in the promotion mix.

The Baggies’ away form is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed quickly to stop the rot on the road, but Ismael’s focus was on his side’s fortunes in the West Midlands.

“When I came here, the first thing I said was that you can feel the energy here,’ the 45-year-old said regarding The Hawthorns.

“It has to be an unpleasant place for the opponent to come.

“And when we are all on the same page, the fans, the stadium, the players, the way to play, the intensity, the energy – we have got everything to make The Hawthorns an unpleasant place to play.

“But now we need more with consistency. It’s not enough.

“The season is long and we need to carry on and really make the mark that this is our home and we will fight for each point. We don’t want to let any points slip away.

“We need to give everything.”

The Verdict:

They can’t solely rely on their home form to get them through the season, because as Sunderland have recently shown in the EFL, it’s almost impossible to remain unbeaten at home.

In fairness though, losses at The Hawthorns haven’t been the problem considering their current form. It’s the draws that have killed them thus far in their quest to achieve automatic promotion and although every point counts at the top end of the table, points dropped count just as much.

Getting past sides that are prepared to sit back against the Baggies has been a real issue for a side that also had trouble winning all three points against relegation-threatened Hull City just days before their draw against Boro, with Karlan Grant’s 69th-minute strike the only goal that separated the two sides on the night.

They may have managed to get past the Tigers in the end, but that game and the fixture against the Teesside club should have made it clear what they need to focus on during the international break as they look to apply pressure on AFC Bournemouth and the Cottagers, who are currently occupying the top two spots.

Ensuring they can turn draws into victories at home has to be one thing at the front of their mind going into the next set of fixtures, but they also need to be intimidating to play against on the road and they should have a controlled confidence and arrogance about them as a recently-relegated side.

This confidence will go a long way in improving their away form.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: ‘It’s not enough’ – Valerien Ismael reveals what West Brom need more of

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