West Brom lost their unbeaten start to the season as they lost 1-0 at Stoke City on Friday night.
The Baggies were well beaten as they were fortunate to come away just the 1-0 defeat as Stoke created an abundance of chances throughout the game, as well as missing a penalty.
The defeat to Stoke left West Brom manager Valerien Ismael disappointed but he admitted Stoke were the better side and the best side they’ve played against this season.
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Speaking in his post-match press conference, Ismael was quoted by The Birmingham Mail as saying: “Stoke were the best team we have played so far. I think that tonight it was not good enough to get more. We saw a lot of mistakes from our side and I think that’s always a sign of tiredness.
“We can’t pretend we played well. Stoke deserved to win and they were the better team. They had more energy than us.
“What we have learned from the game is that an average performance is not enough in this division to earn points. If you are average, another team will come and take your place in the league.”
Ismael’s side struggled throughout the game as Stoke continuously broke through, and he admitted hesitation and mistakes were too common, adding: “We didn’t create many chances or keep the ball in dangerous areas.
“We hesitated a lot and when the performance is like that you can’t pretend. We tried to play and had some good situations but we lost the ball and after that we need to run.”
The defeat leaves West Brom top of the table, but they could be replaced by Bournemouth on Saturday if they get a result against Sheffield United.
Ismael’s side are next in action when they host local rivals Birmingham City at The Hawthorns after the October international break.
This was certainly a blip for West Brom. They have controlled and dominated every league game they have played in so far this season up until this one against Stoke.
It will be a learning curve for Ismael’s side in their push for promotion and as a promotion rival, Stoke would have been difficult opposition for any side in the division.
With Ismael still bedding his players into his style of play, as well as getting key players back in form, I’d be certain to suggest the best is yet to come from West Brom this season.
As a result, there may not be too much need to panic for those of a Baggies persuasion just yet.