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Valerien Ismael: West Brom strikers need to get in the right place

Boss Valerien Ismael says taking up the right positions inside the box is the key to Albion ending their goal drought.

Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The Baggies travel to take on Coventry tomorrow having failed to win in their last four outings and failed to score in their last three.

In his 3-4-3 system, Ismael likes his central midfielders to get the ball wide to his wing-backs who are then tasked with sending dangerous crosses into the box.

But too often Albion’s forwards have not been in the right place to connect with those deliveries.

And the Frenchman revealed that is what they have been working on extensively in training this week as they bid to get back to winning ways.

“At the minute the struggle is in the last third or putting the players in the right area,” Ismael said when asked about his team’s lack of goals.

“We bring the ball into the last third, we cross a lot. But we haven’t had the taker.

“We have worked all week with the players on the positioning in the box and to make sure now that we have a body when the ball arrives.

“We’ve improved in a lot of areas. Now we need to force our destiny.

“We will score a goal. I am not afraid. We’ve just had to adjust our training sessions with the players to make clear their box positioning.”

For the past three years, Ismael has played a 3-4-3 formation – with the boss adamant that is the system that best suits his counter-pressing philosophy.

With Albion having struggled for goals in recent weeks, fans and pundits have questioned whether he should change that formation.

But Ismael believes all the answers can be found in his system.

“We are satisfied with our way and our formation,” the boss said when asked if he’s considered changing system.

“It’s all about scoring goals.

“It’s a good feeling that we control a lot of situations – even when we have been down to 10 men.

“You have seen that against Huddersfield and against Forest we had two big chances to score.

“We have the right players, we play the ball in the right areas.

“Now when the ball gets into the box we need to have the players in the right position to finish the job.

“It’s all about the desire, it’s about focusing on that last bit.”

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