Valerien Ismael's West Brom vision taking shape

Valerien Ismael says he is getting closer to building an Albion team in his own vision following his sides impressive display at Cardiff.

Following his appointment as head coach, the Frenchman said he wanted to mould the Baggies into what he calls a ‘complete’ team.

To achieve that goal, Ismael said his side needs to be a top team in possession, a top team out of possession and also a top team when it comes to scoring from set-plays – what the 46-year-old calls his ‘three pillars.’

The Baggies have impressed out of possession all season – with Ismael’s men having restricted their opponents to very few clear-cut chances.

They have also impressed from set-plays – with Alex Mowatt’s corners and Darnell Furlong’s long throws particularly dangerous.

But it wasn’t until Tuesday’s trip to Cardiff that they truly showed how good they can be on the


And Ismael believes that performance was a big step forward for his side – with the Baggies battering a direct Cardiff team just weeks after they struggled to break down a Millwall side who play in a very similar way.

“We knew that the game would be the same like Millwall, and we prepared the guys differently – with solutions we got from the second half against Derby and from the game against QPR.” Ismael said.

“Now we have a lot more information and solutions for the guys.

“We knew at Cardiff the main focus was to get the ball down.

“We made it perfectly in all situations – to keep the ball in play, to play quicker.

“We found the right balance and it was important to get the result as well as the performance because it gives confidence to the guys.

“We’re moving now more in my vision about the team and to be top in the three pillars.”

While Ismael was full of praise for his team’s performance in Wales, he reminded his players in the dressing they now have another massive game against Stoke on Friday.

“The goals we score were brilliant, it showed the confidence and mentality in the team,” the boss continued.

“The performance gave us a great feeling – we all worked together.

“But now as I said to the guys and I say to you (the media) the same – let’s focus on Friday night.

“We have another difficult away game and we need to recover.

“We need another forceful performance to finish the week positively, and to make sure we do the right thing on Friday night.”

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