Jake Livermore: West Brom smiling again thanks to Valerien Ismael

Jake Livermore says new boss Valerien Ismael has put smiles back on to the faces of Albion’s players.

Jake Livermore of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)
Jake Livermore of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)

Baggies fans got a first glimpse of their side under the Frenchman when they took on National League outfit Woking in a pre-season friendly last night.

A late penalty from Kenneth Zohore saw Albion come away with a 1-0 win.

But while it was only a narrow victory on paper, Ismael’s side enjoyed almost complete control and would have won by a bigger margin but for some pre-season rustiness.

Last season was a particularly difficult one for Livermore who often found himself out of the team under former boss Sam Allardyce as the Baggies were relegated from the Premier League.

But the skipper says he is now enjoying his football again following the arrival of Ismael.

“I am just enjoying my football again,” Livermore said when asked about how he is feeling heading into the new campaign.

“He (Ismael) is a great guy.

“The squad of boys we have got here, it was difficult last season.

“But that is behind us now and we have got a manager who actually believes in us and wants us to progress and go forward.

“He has put a smile on our faces and it’s about us moving forward.”

Livermore felt the game against Woking was a good way to kick-off pre-season.

“It was a good test,” he continued.

“It was something we are going to have to get used to this season - teams sitting off us and making things difficult.

“We are all believing in what the manager and his staff want. We are all very much together this season and looking forward to the battle ahead.”

On the game itself, Livermore added: “It was pre-season, everyone is half a yard short.

“As soon as that fitness comes back we’ll be a lot more clinical in the final third.

“It’s to be expected. It’s only our second run out of pre-season and the lads are gradually grasping what the manager wants.”

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News