Skip to main content

West Brom head coach Valerien Ismael changed his tactics before QPR victory

West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers – Sky Bet Championship – The Hawthorns
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

West Brom head coach Valerien Ismael admitted he changed his tactics to try to fool the opposition as his side came from behind to beat QPR 2-1 and go top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Albion played more of a possession game after crafting a reputation for a more uncompromising style of football under Ismael so far.

Karlan Grant scored twice – the equaliser 15 minutes from time a real howler by goalkeeper Seny Dieng – after Andre Gray gave QPR the lead after just 43 seconds. The winner came after 88 minutes.

“We got more possession and more passes which was good because we wanted to keep the ball more,” said Ismael.

“It was something new but it’s all about being patient and we deserved to win – we had 18 shots and eight were on target.

“We scored twice and this is what we missed in our previous three games.

“The second goal was the real us. We showed the intensity to win the ball then work the passes then finish it off.”

Ismael was pleased for Grant, who has struggled to make an impact since his £15 million move from Huddersfield.

“I was delighted for Karlan. He got the breakthrough and he worked really hard for the other guys,” he added.

Ismael’s decision to replace Grady Diangana with Jordan Hugill was booed by supporters but the head coach defended his choice.

“I am here to make decisions and I know exactly what I am doing,” he said.

“Making subs is all about having an impact on the game not bringing on a sub for the sake of it.

“We had a clear idea of what we wanted to do and the pocket link-up is our strength and we knew QPR would be tired if we could keep that intensity.”

QPR manager Mark Warburton was bitterly disappointed after his side conceded two goals in the last 15 minutes.

“We committed two individual errors and to give away two goals like that was very disappointing,” said Warburton.

“He has had an outstanding rise and he is a considerable talent but he knows he made a mistake.

“After the goal we have to be better than that – we have to manage the game better.

“It looked like we were going to get three points and the players know we should have had at least a point from the game.”

Up until the equaliser, it looked like QPR were going to frustrate the home side with their tactics and inflict West Brom’s first defeat of the season.

“We had to change our style of play so we didn’t fall into the traps of their press,” added Warburton.

“We felt we could get loads of space down the sides and that was why Andre Gray was playing and he exploited that.

“We had to adopt different tactics – they press well and they expected us to overplay at the back.”