Valerien Ismael declared West Brom’s season to be ‘back on track’ after they secured an excellent 2-1 victory over Coventry City at the CBS Arena on Saturday.
Karlan Grant plundered his ninth goal of the season before a controversial Kyle McFadzean own goal doubled the Baggies’ lead before half time. McFadzean pulled one back late on, but Albion ensured that they returned to winning ways after not emerging victorious from any of their last four league games.
Ismael was pleased, not least of all by the fact that his side had the bloodied the noses of a direct top six rival.
“I think the first thing to say is that we are back on track,” Ismael reasoned. “That was really important after the two draws – Blackpool and Nottingham Forest – to get keep the momentum going with the performance and to add that last step with the win.
“First credit to Coventry, it’s not an easy place to come and win. They have played very well so far, Fulham lost 4-1 here and the second half you can see why. We needed to face that.
“They tried to match our intensity from the beginning so it was an intense game for both sides, but we were not really under pressure.”
Grant’s opening strike, 20 minutes in, was laid on a plate by forward colleague Callum Robinson – that’s the seventh time this season that the Irishman has assisted a Grant goal.
Robinson won the ball high, intercepting a Sky Blue pass, before weighting a perfect through ball into Grant’s path – he did the rest.
“The first goal was really good. It’s our DNA now to be aggressive, to press and finish as quickly as possible, and I think the second goal gave us the belief to that today will be our day to be back,” Ismael said.
“Second half it was a difficult game but that is normal when the opponent is throwing everything at you to get back in the game. They had some momentum, because against Bournemouth last week they were 2-0 down but came back into the game.
“You felt their belief, but it was about us staying strong at the end and at the minute we are very stable defensively. That helped us to keep the three points.”
Of course, this victory, enjoyed by more than 4,500 away fans, won’t count for much if Albion fail to follow it up with another success when Reading visit The Hawthorns next time out.
Ismael, who will welcome back his suspended midfielders, knows that consistency is the name of the game.
“We are back on track but now the most important thing is the next step and the next step is against Reading. I’m delighted we now have another good week to work with the players,” he added.
“Jake Livermore and Jayson Molumby will be back so we will have more possibilities, more options. It’s all about staying focused now and building the momentum we need.”