Valerien Ismael happy with West Brom risk and reward

Valerien Ismael says he shoulders the blame for any goals Albion concede because of his high-risk philosophy.


              
West Bromwich Albion's Matt Phillips celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at Ewood Park, Blackburn. Picture date: Saturday August 21, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Blackburn. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.


RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, 
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West Bromwich Albion's Matt Phillips celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at Ewood Park, Blackburn. Picture date: Saturday August 21, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Blackburn. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

The Baggies continued their excellent start to the season by securing a 2-1 victory at Blackburn on Saturday.

That win should behave been more emphatic with Ismael’s side hitting the woodwork four times whilst also missing a number of other chances.

And those misses ensured Blackburn still had hope of snatching a point in the closing stages.

Ever since arriving at the club, Ismael has been intent of playing with a high defensive line that leaves space in behind for the opposition to exploit.

And after falling 2-0 down, Blackburn pulled a goal back when goalkeeper Sam Johnstone fluffed his lines when making a clearance.

That error allowed Ben Brereton Diaz to tap in.

But Ismael insisted Johnstone shouldn’t be blamed for the goal – with the keeper doing his best to follow his manager’s instructions.

“There is no blame on Sam – that is our principle,” Ismael said.

“We need the keeper sweeping, to protect in behind.

“You can make mistakes when you play with our principles.

“But this is what we want to see from our keeper. If you want to blame someone you can blame me because I tell him all the time you need to sweep and support.

“It’s a risk and sometimes it goes like that.

“But you will win more games then you lose.”

In what was a hugely impressive attacking display from the Baggies, forwards Matt Phillips and Karlan Grant both shone at Ewood Park.

Traditionally a winger, Phillips played as a central striker and scored and also registered an assist.

Grant, meanwhile, was a threat throughout in what was arguably his best performance in an Albion shirt.

It was a great performance from Matty,” Ismael continued.

“He is in a new position as a nine and it was important for him to get his rewards.

“He works really hard. He missed 10 days (of pre-season) due to a virus but now he is getting better and better.

“We wanted more physicality in the nine position at Blackburn and he did the job perfectly.

“He scored a goal and he gave us a lot of possibilities to play in the pocket.

“It was a great performance but we need to stay that way now.”

On Grant’s performance, the boss added: “I think he is playing with consistency at the minute.

“That is a great feeling and will give him confidence.

“He is always a danger. But he needs to continue that way.

“It is only by performing consistently that he will take his game to the next level.

“And if he does that the team will move to the next level as well.”

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