Record-breaking Valerien Ismael wants more of the same from West Brom

Valerien Ismael says he’s proud of Albion’s unbeaten start to the season – but the boss has warned Stoke will be doing everything they can to end their impressive run tonight.

Valerien Ismael head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)
Valerien Ismael head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

The Baggies’ 4-0 win at Cardiff on Tuesday ensured they have got through their first 10 Championship games undefeated.

Never before has an Albion side achieved that feat, with Ismael having created history despite only arriving at the club in June.

Previous managers Vic Buckingham, Brian Little and Slaven Bilic all managed nine games unbeaten at the start of a campaign.

But while Ismael is proud of the record, he knows his team cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

“I am proud,” the Frenchman said when asked about the record. “It shows the hard work all the staff have put in with the players from day one.

“We have had to implement a new way to play and it’s the result of hard work.

“It’s not enough. We need to continue to carry on.

“We need to win with consistency if we are to stay where we are.

“We cannot afford to be average otherwise someone will come and take our spot.

“It’s all about maintaining our performance level, our mentality, and our desire to continue to move forward.”

Meanwhile, Ismael confirmed Matt Clarke is in contention to feature against Stoke. The defender hasn’t played since straining his hamstring at Blackburn in August.

“Matt Clarke is completely back in full training now so he will be available for the game at Stoke.,” the boss said when giving an injury update.

“Snods (Robert Snodgrass) is back in training. He twisted his ankle last week but he trained yesterday (Wednesday) to test everything, he’s fine so he’s back.

“Rayhaan Tulloch has another injury, a groin injury. He will be out for two or three weeks. Otherwise, all the players, with the exception of Dara O’Shea (ankle), are available.”

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