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West Brom's Daryl Dike treading carefully through ‘ruthless schedule’

Albion boss Valerien Ismael says Daryl Dike will have to be managed carefully amid a ‘ruthless’ schedule – but that the striker knows exactly what is required.

Daryl Dike  (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Daryl Dike (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The marquee January signing made his debut off the bench as the Baggies lost 1-0 against QPR at the weekend, playing half an hour.

Ismael admits the 21-year-old American, snapped up from MLS outfit Orlando City, is not yet fully fit.

Having worked with the target man at Barnsley, though, he is sure Dike will make his mark before long.

“The good thing when he arrived, I said to him ‘do you remember the principles?’ and he told me straight away what he had to do in possession, out of possession,” said Ismael.

“I said ‘brilliant’. He hasn’t forgot. It’s all about fitness now – it’s not about tactics.

“He knows the principles, it’s just about getting him 100 per cent fit.”

Albion – out to end a four-match winless run in the Championship – welcome Peterborough to The Hawthorns on Saturday.

Ismael added on Dike: “He had four weeks off, now he’s two weeks into a pre-season for him. Normally in pre-season, after five/six weeks the players are able to play every three days.

“The good thing with Dike is that he played the previous season with consistency.

“Through the game he will get his fitness.

“But we need to manage him because the schedule is ruthless.”

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