Valerien Ismael praises West Brom players and fans following draw at Bournemouth

Valerien Ismael felt there were plenty of positives from Albion's draw at Bournemouth - while the boss was also full of praise for the fans who made the long trip to the south coast.

Valerien Ismael the head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion.
Valerien Ismael the head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion.

In what was a thrilling opening game in the Championship, the Baggies twice came from behind to draw 2-2 against Scott Parker's men.

While overall, a draw was probably the right result, Albion were a touch unfortunate not to win with Callum Robinson seeing a goal harshly ruled out.

Nevertheless, Ismael was pleased with how his team played in what was their first competitive outing under the Frenchman.

"I think for an opening game it was entertainment," the boss said.

"I think in the first half we were on top with our intensity. There were a lot of situations where we pressed very well.

"In transition sometimes we were a bit sloppy - we kept the ball too long.

But I think we were in control.

"Bournemouth were very clinical, they scored with their first shot on goal.

"I think throughout the game we showed a strong mentality - we came from behind two times.

"We were great out of possession. In possession, we need to improve for the next game. We need to have more confidence and be more calm.

"But I think that comes with the pressure of the first game, nobody knows exactly where you are so there are a lot of questions.

"The last point from me, really positive, our support from the fans was incredible.

"Especially after the second goal when we came back into the game.

I'm just looking forward to a home game because with our way of playing, our home fans will be a massive support."

Albion duo Dara O'Shea and Callum Robinson cancelled out goals from Emilano Marcondes and Philip Billing at Dean Court.

But Robinson was hugely unfortunate not to come away with two goals on the night - with the striker seeing a first-half effort harshly ruled out for a foul.

"Welcome to the Championship," Ismael said when asked about the disallowed goal.

"I know the Championship, you can't change anything. You just have to accept it and move on.

"It does not matter. It was a good game between two teams.

"Bournemouth were strong. But a lot of the time we had things under control.

"I think in the first half our clearances were not clinical enough and we gave Bournemouth chances to counter-attack. That we need to improve for the next game.

"But I see a lot of positives from this performance.

"What we have to improve is having more confidence, more clarity in the defence. I think we will have that for next week."

One player who wasn't involved at Dean Court was Romaine Sawyers who has been linked with a move to Stoke.

Asked if Sawyers wasn't involved so he can weigh up his future, Ismael said: "Yes. But Romaine had an issue with COVID, and he came back later in the pre-season, so we have players who are not 100 per cent.

"Adam Reach is not ready, Snods (Robert Snodgrass) is not ready, Romaine is not ready at the minute, so we need now to get the momentum.

"We need to find the balance, with the players who are ready to compete at the minute and then give time to the others to come on the same level.

“When we have the depth in the squad, we can allow to wait and give a chance for the young players from the beginning.”

Grady Diangana came off against Bournemouth with an ankle injury.

“He got a kick, or twisted his ankle," Ismael added.

"I saw the first situation, and the second situation, the press situation, he wasn’t so clinical so we don’t want to take any risks because we have the possibility on the bench to do something.

"We changed straight and it was the right decision.”

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News