West Bromwich Albion boss Valerien Ismael has told the Express & Star that it has been a long road for him to develop his signature pressing style of play.
The Baggies have largely adopted the same sorts of methods that Ismael implemented, with their high intensity style of play having rendered some positive results so far.
Ismael arrived in England with Barnsley initially and quickly won over plenty of fans with the way that he got his side playing and it is clear that he is looking to transfer that success to the Hawthorns after thriving at Oakwell.
Now the Baggies’ boss has made the following admission about his chosen tactics as things start to come together for him and his staff in the Midlands:
“It’s been a long journey.
“I’ve now been a manager for 10 years. At the beginning it is always the same, failure, rejection, negativity from outside. You just need to improve all the time.
“My first thing was always that I wanted to press, I want to press for 90 minutes.
“But every time, at the beginning, the intensity of the team always dropped down after one hour.
“I tried to understand why and I found a solution. The training method was one – so I changed the training method.
“And then I changed the shape, different things, to find the right solution.”
Quiz: Have West Brom won or lost more against each of these 25 English teams?
West Brom’s weekend win away at Blackburn Rovers underlined just how string they are going to be during the current season, with Alex Mowatt in particular being a standout performer as he crashed home a spectacular volley early on in the contest.
Meanwhile, the Baggies are currently preparing for their Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal on Wednesday.
The early signs are certainly looking good for Ismael and it appears that he is taking the challenge of getting the Baggies back to the Premier League at the first attempt in his stride.
Mowatt has settled in well alongside their other summer additions and there is a growing feeling that a lot of the players are really buying into the manager’s methods.
If they can continue to maintain their winning run in the Championship, they will certainly have a good chance of hitting their targets of being in the race for the automatic spots.
Their pressing style is hard to sustain over a long period of time, so it will be interesting to see if they pick up any injuries along the way.