‘The opponent just destroyed the game’ – West Brom boss on derby clash

Date published: Friday 15th October 2021 11:45 - Ben Rooth

Valerien Ismael April 2021 TEAMtalk

West Brom manager Valerien Ismael has criticised Birmingham after a narrow 1-0 win.

The points looked like they were going to be shared at The Hawthorns until Karlan Grant’s 75th-minute winner for the Baggies.

In what could be described as a cagey encounter, neither side created too many clear-cut chances before the deadlock was broken.

Grant, who has scored four goals in four, cut in from the left to strike low into the bottom corner.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Ismael said: “The opponent just destroyed the game but we can’t do everything we want. Stay patient and wait on your chance and punish and I’m just satisfied we can punish in that way.”

The visitors have endured a leaky defence in recent matches and Ismael was quick to point this out.

“You have to understand that Birmingham the last five games, they’ve conceded twelve goals,” said the Baggies boss. “It was clear they came here to get the clean sheet, waste time, and create frustration.

Only scoring one goal last campaign, Grant now has five in 12 league games this season, making him his side’s top goalscorer.

“He has a good run and needs to stay that way and continue to work,” said Ismael. “He has the confidence you need and the quality. We need more goals from him”

Despite the three points, midfield maestro Alex Mowatt was forced off with another injury to his foot midway through the second half.

Ismael said: “We knew before the game it could be a risk but Alex had a good feeling and I think he took the right decision to go out.

“The good thing is it’s a bruise, it’s not something broken. We need to manage the injury until the next game.”

The victory sees West Brom climb to the top of the Championship table on goal difference, with Bournemouth playing on Saturday.

“It’s important that we did our job,” added Ismael. “At the minute it doesn’t matter if you’re first or second in the table.

“The most important thing is to get the points with consistency.”


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