West Brom manager Valerien Ismael insisted that he knew exactly what he was doing regarding his second half changes as the Baggies managed to secure a 2-1 comeback win against QPR.
The Baggies were under pressure to get back to winning games and secure all three points to take themselves back to the top of the Championship table.
That pressure had built up during the last three games where West Brom had been unable to deliver a strong enough performance to beat any of Millwall, Derby County or Preston North End.
Ismael’s side were soon under pressure once again against QPR with the Baggies falling a goal down in the first minute of the contest to put them straight onto the back foot.
Frustration continued to build amongst supporters at the Hawthorns throughout the rest of the first half and into the early stages of the second period as West Brom struggled to find an equaliser despite getting into some dangerous positions.
Ten minutes into the second period, Ismael turned to his bench to get the Baggies back into the game and he brought on both Callum Robinson and Jordan Hugill. That saw both Matty Phillips and Grady Diangana brought off and there were some fans frustrated with that decision.
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In the end, the player that Ismael has left on in Karlan Grant managed to score both of the goals to turn things around and give the Baggies all three points. While both Robinson and Hugill had major impacts.
Quiz: Have West Brom ever been involved in these 18 scenarios?
Speaking to the Express and Star following the Baggies’ win over QPR, Ismael insisted that he knew what he was doing with regards to his substitutions despite the reaction from some supporters.
He said: “I am here to make decisions and I know exactly what I am doing.
“Making subs is all about having an impact on the game not bringing on a sub for the sake of it.
“We had a clear idea of what we wanted to do and that the pocket link up is our strength.
“We need to use that at the right moment and we knew QPR would be tired if we were able to keep that intensity.”
This is a difficult situation because at the time during the game you can understand why West Brom fans were frustrated with the decision from Ismael to take off Diangana and leave Grant on the field.
It had been looking like Diangana was West Brom’s brightest attacking outlet and up until the introduction of Robinson and Hugill, Grant was not having the best of nights at the Hawthorns.
However, Ismael proved frequently during his time in charge of Barnsley that he can make game-changing substitutions at the right moments in matches.
That was on show against QPR and his decision was fully vindicated by Grant scoring both goals to turn the game around.
There still seems to be sections of West Brom supporters who are not yet fully convinced by Ismael however. That is despite them remaining unbeaten in the Championship after nine games and being top of the league after the win.
Ismael though has more than proven that he is a manager that has the ability to change things and turn bad performances and circumstances into more positive results by full time. So he is well within his rights to respond in the way he has done here.