West Brom learning to keep their cool in heat of battle

Adam Reach says Albion must stay calm and refuse to let their opponents frustrate them if they are to win promotion to the Premier League.

.Moses Odubajo of Queens Park Rangers and Adam Reach
.Moses Odubajo of Queens Park Rangers and Adam Reach

The Baggies returned to winning ways on Friday night when a brace from Karlan Grant saw them beat QPR at The Hawthorns.

Prior to that, Valerien Ismael’s side had drawn three matches on the spin.

Those draws – against Millwall, Derby and Preston North End – arrived after all three sides changed their tactical approach in a bid to stifle Albion’s high pressing game.

Each of those teams played more direct in a bid to stop the Baggies winning the ball high.

And when speaking post-match, QPR boss Mark Warburton admitted his side – who have been possession-based this season – also changed their approach.

Psychological

“A lot of if it is psychological and we’ve realised it more recently – if you’re the favourite to go up, teams will change the way they play to try and overcome you,” Reach said.

“Derby, for example, so far have played free-flowing football and move it out from the back.

“But when they came to The Hawthorns that changed.

“It was the same at Preston. They made it ugly and tried to get us frustrated, which, at times, they succeeded in doing.

“But we have to accept that teams are going to change their ways to try and stop us.

“It’s easier said than done. But we have to try and not get frustrated, stick to our plan and tweak things if we must. We have to believe in our methods because it only takes a few seconds to score a goal.

“With the quality we’ve got in our squad, we’re going to come away from more games on the winning side than on the losing side.

“Now we want to put multiple wins together.

“We’ve got tough games coming up before the international break.

“But we have to try and pick maximum points up to then catapult ourselves to the top.”

Reach has started Albion’s last three games – impressing at left wing-back. And after arriving fairly late in the transfer window, he believes Albion fans are now starting to see the best of him.

“After coming in quite late, it was important to get my fitness up first and get used to the demands of the manager – not just on a match day but from Monday to Friday as well,” the former Sheffield Wednesday man continued.

“It’s a style I haven’t been used to before under different managers.

“But I watched a lot of Barnsley last season and liked their front-foot, high intensity, style which is what my physical attributes are capable of. I’m always high on running and energy stats – those are the things I bring naturally.

“So the style suits me down to the ground, especially the wing-back role in terms of getting up and down and creating chances.

“It’s a role that changes to creating chances rather than taking them on yourself.

“But I’ve seen improvements to my game in the time I have spent with the manager.

“It takes time for everything to click together.

“But once it does I think we’re going to be a strong force this year.”

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