Valerien Ismael urges West Brom to discover ‘killer instinct’

Valerien Ismael has demanded Albion start taking their chances as they prepare to face QPR tomorrow.

Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion celebrates the 0-1 win at the final whistle (AMA)
Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion celebrates the 0-1 win at the final whistle (AMA)

The Baggies last three outings have seen them put in underwhelming displays against Millwall, Derby and Preston North End – matches that all ended in draws.

Speaking after the trip to Deepdale last weekend, Ismael said it’s imperative his side develops a ‘killer instinct’ in the final third.

Expected goals data shows only Fulham have created more chances than Albion in their opening eight games of the season.

And Ismael said his side will quickly start winning games again if they become more ruthless.

“It’s been a good week, we’ve had lots of time to assess, to analyse, to work clinically on the situation,” the Frenchman said.

“We have assessed the three games – it was difficult to work between the games because there was game recovery, and then another game, so you cannot put in the intensity in training for the guys.

"Now we have shown and explained what we wanted.

“We now have more information about the games, more statistics and we can really focus on the main – that we need to be more ruthless and clinical in our finishing.

“The stats showed we had 42 shots on target in our first eight games in the league, an average of five shots on target every game.

“But our conversion rate is 40 per cent – it’s clear we need to close that gap to score more goals.

“We’ve taken too many chances to score goals and this is the main aim for the QPR game – we need to be more ruthless, we need that killer instinct.”

Ismael has said in recent weeks he believes Albion need to play with more composure.

The boss was asked if that means sometimes slowing their play down and building up gradually rather than going direct.

But said he doesn’t want his team to slow down and instead wants them to be more clinical while also keeping the ball in play more.

“It’s not about slowing down,” he continued.

“We have two main focuses. The first one, as I have said, is we create a lot of chances, we need to score.

“And the second one is the ball in play. Before the international break, the ball was in play for 45 minutes against us.

“After the break it dropped to 41 minutes and the last game (Preston) it was less than that.

“It is clear, the game plan from the opponent is to take the intensity out of the game.

“Now it’s for us to keep the ball in play.

“We have many solutions to keep the ball in play. This is what we have been focusing on with the guys and I have seen an improvement.

“We are frustrated about the results because we normally we would get more points with the performance we put in.

"But – with my staff – it’s important to analyse the games properly, see what works and in which areas we have to improve to get back to winning games.”

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