West Brom boss Valerien Ismael urged players to create a welcoming atmosphere in the stands as they welcome Birmingham City to The Hawthorns.
albion They are second place and have only lost once in their first 11 games, but there have been many opportunities this season. when parts of the fan base made their opinions very clear about the images in the show.
Still, the recipe for a lively atmosphere at Smethwick, Brummie, Halfords and the East Stand is up to the players. If they can be fired with the first whistle on the field, as they’ve often done this season, then blues on the field and in the stands there will be a battle on their hands. More than 25,000 participants are expected.
“I’m looking forward to playing a home game again, the last two were away” Ismail said. “It has to be a great atmosphere, but to get that atmosphere we need to put the performance on the field and make sure our performance lifts the crowd with us. That’s what we’re looking for – to have our feet on the gas from the first minute to the last minute.
The fans are huge for us, especially when you consider that the 11 games we played at home and away, and eight of them were at night, four times on Friday nights.
It’s tough for our fans, but they still support us in every situation, so to make sure we’re putting on the right performance.”
In this previous unrest, which is quite clearly heard in the home draws against Derby and Millwall, and then in the dire stalemate at Preston, Ismael understands he’s on par for the course when you’re in charge of a club that has recently had Premier League status.
“I can understand the expectation but this is the Championship. We are clear at the club, among the staff – we know how difficult the league is. It’s a long journey and the most important thing right now is to get points consistently,” he said.
As for the blues, Ismael puts exactly zero stock on the pre-season hammering at St Andrew’s.
The Albion blues are away before the curtain lifter of the campaign, and the French player knows that despite being an injured animal right now, Lee Bowyer’s side is a completely different prospect for almost a quarter of the season.
“The pre-season game was just pre-season, but it helped us stay on the right track,” he added. “Now, it’s a completely different situation. My expectation is that it’s all about having the basics in duels, set pieces. A lot of balls will come in our box and we will have to defend it.
“We have the ball and we have to keep improving. The Cardiff game is our benchmark to make sure we stay at that level with the ball.”