Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy has revealed the West Brom player his side simply had no answer for as the Baggies secured a 4-0 win to go top of the Championship.
Karlan Grant, Alex Mowatt and Matt Phillips were all on target at the Cardiff City Stadium. Indeed, Albion were dominant throughout and thoroughly deserved the win, with Cardiff defender Curtis Nelson also putting through his own net.
And while Mowatt’s goal stole the headlines, McCarthy admits it was the performance of Grant that left him breathless.
The former Huddersfield man was a thorn in his team’s side throughout. And the Bluesbirds defenders had no answer to him, with the striker’s confident display seeing him smash in an excellent goal from 25 yards.
“We’re bitterly disappointed,” McCarthy said.
“We were beaten by the much better side but we’ve contributed to that with the goals we gave away. They were poor goals to concede.”
Discussing Grant’s goal, McCarthy conceded it that while it was a poor one to concede, much of it was down to individual brilliance.
“We had a bad start with five minutes gone. It’s an unbelievable strike – but we probably could have got a block in.
“I take the responsibility for it and I always will because it’s my team, my tactics, the way we do it, but they (the players) are very aware and very honest about it. Quite a few of them have been saying they need to take part of the responsibility.”
Responding to the boos and jeers, suggesting he faces the sack, McCarthy says he fully understands it.
“I fully understand them (the boos),” McCarthy added. “I’ve got no complaints about the fans at all. They come to support us, watch us and expect better performances, so I share their frustration.”
Ismael thanks West Brom players
Albion boss Valerien Ismael, meanwhile, had plenty of praise for the sacrifices his players made in securing the three points.
“I want to give a massive thank you to the players for the performance and the three points,” Ismael said.
“When you make sacrifices to your family, it is performances liken that that make it feel worth it. It was a great evening for us.
“We are now moving more towards my vision for this team. I want us to stay confident and move further in the right direction.
“But we have to stay forceful. We have another difficult game on Friday night (away to Stoke) and we need to make sure we do the same as we have done here.”
Grant struck his third goal in two games inside five minutes to put Albion on the road to victory.
Albion turned their first-half supremacy into goals after the break as Nelson sliced into his own net before Mowatt’s vicious half-volley and substitute Phillips’ late strike completed the rout.
“When we scored in the first half we set the tone,” Ismael said. “But I told them they needed to stay on the front foot.
“We knew Cardiff would come at us strongly at the start of the second half. But we scored the second at the right time and that gave us the confidence to go and score more.
“All the goals were brilliant and showed the confidence and mentality of this team.”