West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has told the Express & Star that the club’s priority this season is the Sky Bet Championship after they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Arsenal last night.
The Baggies made numerous changes to their starting eleven and ultimately paid the price, with the ruthless Gunners running out as 6-0 winners at the Hawthorns thanks to a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hattrick and further goals from Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette.
Despite the heavy defeat, Albion are already going well in the league and are yet to taste defeat in that competition under the enigmatic Frenchman since he took over in the summer.
Now Ismael has outlined his and the club’s intentions for the months ahead as he reflected on their hefty cup defeat:
“The final thing is to thank the fans. They understood our priority this season is clearly the Championship.
“At the end they applauded the young lads for their performance. The guys tried to give everything. Now we move on and the focus is on Saturday and Peterborough.”
Quiz: Have West Brom won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
West Brom featured six debutants during the game and in the end a strong Arsenal side proved too strong for them on what was a difficult evening for the Midlands side.
Now their attentions will turn to the league and the end of the transfer window after completing the loan signing of Jordan Hugill yesterday.
West Brom’s season as a whole has been solid and it’s clear that they already have promotion in their sights after making a fine start to the campaign.
Ismael will know that he has to take the club up at the first attempt and in truth he has really adapted to that reality well during his early weeks as manager.
Things are looking rosy for them moving forwards and the signing of Hugill only adds to the quality that they have within their ranks.
If they can get him firing on all cylinders, it will be hard to see past them going up automatically this term.