Europa Conference League final previewMay 24 | 4 min read
Valerien Ismael urges West Brom to show more composure in final third
West Brom boss Valerien Ismael wants his side to show more composure in the opposition box after they were held to an entertaining 0-0 draw by Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.
The hosts soaked up a barrage of pressure as the promotion-chasing Baggies came close to breaking the deadlock through substitutes Callum Robinson and Jordan Hugill.
Blackpool goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw also denied Matt Clarke a late winner, stretching Albion’s winless streak to three games and leaving them in third place in the Championship.
But following Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield, Ismael was keen to focus on the positives from the game while insisting his team need to be more clinical in front of goal.
“I think it was a great response from Saturday. The performance was exactly what we want to be. Aggressive. Plenty of desire. A strong mentality. Intensity,” he said.
“It was a tough away game and we can take a lot of positives. We need to take what we can get at the minute and getting a clean sheet is a positive.
“We created a lot of chances, but compared to last Saturday, this time there were more real chances to score. At the minute it’s the final ball, and we need to work on that.
“We will keep going because we are really close. We have another game on Friday and we have a massive desire to win that game. It was a little bit of everything in terms of why we didn’t score.
“We have to be a bit more calm and composed in the opposition box to finish the job. They had a lot of bodies in the way too, which helped them. We played well.
“We created a lot of chances, but now we need to finish the job. It’s as simple as that.
“After losing four consecutive games away from home we have managed to stop the bleeding. Now we have to recover for our home game on Friday and we will need our supporters.”
Blackpool almost took the lead in the first half only for England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone to produce a brilliant double stop to deny Gary Madine and Keshi Anderson.
The result stretches the Seasiders’ recent unbeaten run to three matches, boosting their own play-off hopes, and Blackpool manager Neil Critchley was left satisfied overall.
“I thought it was a really good game, it was an entertaining 0-0. Both teams contributed towards that. We started really well in the game, on the front foot and took the game to them,” he said.
“We played with real energy and had some big moments in the game. Not necessarily big chances, but big moments which could have led to chances.
“We failed a little bit, but you know with the way they play – and the physicality they have in the team – that at some point they might get on top of you.
“That’s been a common theme of the games I’ve watched them play. In the second half they got on top of us, but we defended our goal unbelievably well.
“We got bodies in the way, blocks and defended brilliantly well. And we had some big chances ourselves in the second half. They don’t concede many goals and it’s hard to create clear cut opportunities against them – and we created clear cut chances tonight.
“We might have taken one of them – and we might have won. But overall if we’re coming away with a point against West Brom, well you have to be generally pleased.”