Flexible West Brom have the blueprint for success

Alex Mowatt says Albion will continue to play more composed, possession-based, football when they face teams who like to go direct.

Alex Mowatt  (Photo by Adam Fradgley - West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Alex Mowatt (Photo by Adam Fradgley - West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Earlier this month, the Baggies laboured to draws against Millwall, Derby and Preston – sides who all played long to prevent Valerien Ismael’s side from pressing.

But faced with a similar task at Cardiff, Albion changed their style to play a more patient, passing game. And following their convincing win, Mowatt says his side now has a blueprint for when they face teams that go long.

“The difference between how we played against Millwall and Cardiff was ridiculous,” the midfielder said.

“We will carry on doing that against teams who play more direct.

“Teams changed the way they were playing against us so we had to change our approach.

“I think we have done well since we have changed it up a bit.

“Against Cardiff, the plan was to get the ball down and play quick.

“And any free-kick we got, we wanted to take it quick – and we scored from two quick free-kicks.

“That was the game plan because Cardiff are a big side – if you put balls in the box they will head them away.”

Mowatt scored a spectacular half-volley during the win in Wales.

It’s the second thunderbolt he’s netted this season after also scoring from outside the box at Blackburn.

“I think the Cardiff goal was better than the one at Blackburn,” the 26-year-old said.

“I think it’s up there with some of the best I’ve scored.

“As you could see from my celebration I was a bit shocked it went in.

“It was on the half-volley and they are always difficult. It’s so difficult to catch it that sweet.

“In training, you can do those 100 times and not score but thankfully it went in at Cardiff.”

As well as Mowatt, Karlan Grant also netted a stunning goal in Wales.

But the forward had to admit Mowatt’s strike was better.

“It was an unbelievable finish, I said that to him (Grant) just after he scored,” Mowatt added.

“Then he came over to me at the end he said ‘any chance, I wanted goal of the day!’.

“He was buzzing for me but I was buzzing for him because his goal was unbelievable.”

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