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Valerien Ismael happy to mix it up at West Brom

Valerien Ismael says he will continue to rotate his forward players – with the boss revealing he picks his frontmen based on who Albion are playing.

Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)
Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

The Frenchman has stuck with a 3-4-3 formation ever since becoming Baggies chief.

But his forward line has changed most weeks with Callum Robinson, Karlan Grant, Grady Diangana, Matt Phillips, Jordan Hugill, Kenneth Zohore and Rayhaan Tulloch all vying for a starting spot.

And the boss believes it’s important he picks his front line based on the opponent Albion are facing.

“I’m happy to keeping mixing it up,” the boss said.

“I know it’s not a habit to mix it up — you have the starting XI and the ‘main players’.

“But that’s not our way. We need to adapt all the time to what the opponent wants to do against us and what we want to do against the opponents.

“I have players to press and they have a high intensity. I have players with bigger bodies, stronger and with more physicality so we need to adapt and stay in our way.

“So I have five or six players who are able to do what we want.

“It’s clear I’d like to see my players score with consistency as well.

“If a player scores he needs to play the next game to make sure he can score with consistency.

“Otherwise it will be difficult to get that feeling, that confidence.

“But we need the performances and I need to keep the pressure on my strikers to make sure they do the right effort all the time.”

Asked how he picks his forwards, Ismael said: “It’s a mix of tactical, what we need.

“When we press we need more agility in the front three and so when we lose the ball we needed a quick transition.

“And at the end of the game, when the opponent is tired and the centre-backs are more tired we add more physicality to put more pressure on the opponents.

“It all depends on what we need.”

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