Matt Phillips: West Brom embracing Valerien Ismael philosophy

Matt Phillips insists all Albion’s players are enjoying the style of play introduced by Valerien Ismael.

Matt Phillips of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)
Matt Phillips of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

Instead of using the term ‘direct’, Ismael describes his philosophy as ‘vertical’ football with the boss eager to get the ball forward quickly.

But after his team struggled to break down Millwall, Derby and Preston North End in their last three outings, the style of play has drawn criticism from some sections of the fan base.

Ismael himself admits the Baggies need to play with more composure.

Phillips, though, insists all the players are enjoying the style of play the Frenchman has introduced.

“I enjoy it and I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we are enjoying what we are doing,” he said. “We will obviously enjoy it more when we have got more wins on the board, when we starting turning draws into wins. But we play some good stuff, creating chances and limiting the opposition to very few.”

Meanwhile, Ismael says it will take a few more transfer windows before he has truly built an Albion team in his mould.

But the boss has thanked head of recruitment Ian Pearce and chief executive Xu Ke – known as Ken – for the role they played in signing players like Alex Mowatt and Matt Clarke over the summer.

“I have been pleased by how quickly the recruitment team, led by Ian Pearce, have adapted to my needs and the profile I demand of every player we sign,” Ismael said.

“On one hand it makes it makes life easier as it provides absolute clarity on what is required.

“But it can make it more difficult to find the right players as there are fewer of them.

“I am satisfied we have signed the right players during my time here and I’d like to thank Ian and Ken for their support.

“I believe we have taken a massive step in transforming the squad to where I would like it to be.

“This will take more work in future transfer windows as we evolve the squad for challenges ahead.”

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