West Brom will not stroll to promotion in the Championship this season, with Valerien Ismael urging his side to show ‘fight’ to earn their place back in the Premier League.
Ismael has overseen a positive start to the season at the Hawthorns, with West Brom third in the table at this stage.
However, three consecutive draws against Millwall, Derby County and Preston North End has seen West Brom fall behind AFC Bournemouth in the early season standings.
Promotion remains the aim for the new West Brom boss, although he had a warning for his side, claiming that they wouldn’t just stroll back to the Premier League despite the wealth of quality his squad possesses.
Ismael told the Express and Star: “This is the Championship. You see the result (1-1 at Preston), it’s a surprise result.
“It’s one of the toughest leagues in the world.
“Just because you have dropped from the Premier League, you’re not going to drive on the motorway and it’s a freeway for promotion.
“It’s a fight, we need to take the fight.”
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Next up for West Brom is Friday night’s meeting with Queens Park Rangers.
Mark Warburton’s side are licking their wounds following a weekend defeat to Bristol City, but have still enjoyed a largely positive start to the season and collected 12 points from the opening eight fixtures.
West Brom’s last victory, meanwhile, came before the international break when they were late, 1-0 winners over Peterborough United.
Ismael knows how tough the Championship is. He hasn’t been in the division long, but his Barnsley side proved how any club can punch above their weight and make things tough for an outfit like West Brom.
On paper, West Brom should be getting promoted this season. They’ve got an outstanding squad and a manager that’s got a clear style of play, which his players buy into.
However, it’s easier said than done getting out of the Championship and West Brom will have to improve if they are to win promotion.
They’ve been good in the opening couple of months, but not flawless. As an ex-Premier League side, they are a target. They need to overcome that label.
Thoughts? Let us know!