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Valerien Ismael vows to fight back at West Brom

A bullish Valerien Ismael has vowed to fight back as Albion prepare for their first game since their dreadful display against Preston North End.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End at The Hawthorns on January 26, 2022 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Valerien Ismael Head Coach / Manager of West Bromwich Albion during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End at The Hawthorns on January 26, 2022 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The Baggies travel to take on Millwall tomorrow with the boss under intense scrutiny following Wednesday’s defeat to Ryan Lowe's side.

Ismael admitted his team failed to do the basics and that they lacked any sort of passion or desire after they fell to defeat at The Hawthorns.

Many fans had expected Ismael to lose his job yesterday with a poll on our website showing 90 per cent were in favour of his departure.

But the boss has vowed to fight on and is confident the team will get back on track tomorrow.

"Speaking about life in general, in every one of us, we have the possibility to switch," Ismael said.

"From losing games to winning games from being a loser to being a winner, from victim to winning mode.

"This is the good thing in football, you change things at any time.

"You need that mentality and that belief. In my life and in my career I have had many set-backs but I fight back always. It's a tough situation – we are down but not out.

"Millwall is the first chance. I must bring a better game plan and see a better identity."

Ismael says he takes full responsibility for Albion's horror show against Preston – with the boss saying his game plan was wrong.

"We don't need to talk around it – the performance and result wasn't what we expected," he continued.

"More than that. You guys know me – the most important thing for me is the performance and I was bored on the sidelines. It's not my team or my vision. It’s not how I want to play so I take full responsibility.

"We work for months on solutions with the players, we need to adapt to situations. I ticked the wrong box, it’s as simple as that when it comes to the game plan.

"My game plan is intensity, action energy, and we missed everything. That game has taught me to go back to my DNA. It taught me very well.

"That is why I woke up with good energy this morning. We have found the solution. We have spoken to the players.

"The past is the past. You can't change it, the poor performance but I take full responsibility and that will change on Saturday."

From the stands, it appeared a whole host of Albion players didn't play with the right attitude against Preston.

Asked if he can get a result at Millwall with the same players, Ismael said: "Absolutely we can get what we need.

"We have shown that in the past.

"We are in transition. Don’t forget we are still in transition. We will have set-backs, some painful. We have done lots of good work behind the scenes. It's a bumpy road, it's up and down.

"But we have set new standards. The last game is my responsibility.

"Football can change quickly. There's another game, another chance to come to our strengths. We need to see energy and intensity. We need to be unpleasant.

"I spoke with the players, I took my part of the responsibility and the players must too. But my job is for them to know exactly what they have to do for them to have confidence.

"My game plan was wrong. I ticked the wrong box. But it has taught me, I have more clarity. I don't want to run away from any responsibility.

"I believe in my way. Over the last three years, that is the worst game I've seen from my team for three years. I didn't sleep that night, it hit me really.

"In the morning I woke up and said 'okay'. It taught me. We need to find the identity again. That action, that energy, be horrible. When we do the right things, we'll win more games than we lose."

With many fans having called for him to go, Ismael was asked if he is confident he will get the needed to turn Albion around.

"I believe in myself and I believe in my way," he added.

"I know exactly when you take a job as a manager at (the sack) some point can happen so I know things can change quickly.

"But we can flick the switch at any time."

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