West Brom lost their unbeaten game early in the season, losing 1-0 at Stoke City on Friday night.
The Baggies were well beaten as they were fortunate enough to win only the 1-0 loss as Stoke created an abundance of chances throughout the game, while also missing a penalty.
The loss to Stoke disappointed West Brom manager Valerian Ismael, but he admitted Stoke were the best and best team they have played against this season.
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Speaking at his post-match press conference, Ismael was quoted by Birmingham Mail saying : “Stoke were the best team we’ve played so far. I think tonight wasn’t good enough to have more. We saw a lot of mistakes on our side and I think it still is. a sign of fatigue.
“We can’t pretend we played well. Stoke deserved to win and they were the better team. They had more energy than us.
“What we have learned from the game is that an average performance is not enough in this division to earn points. If you are average, another team will come and take your place in the league.
Ismael’s team struggled throughout the game as Stoke continuously pierced, and he admitted hesitations and mistakes were all too common, adding: “We didn’t create a lot of chances or keep the ball in dangerous areas.
“We hesitated a lot and when the performance is like that, we can’t pretend. We tried to play and had some good situations, but we lost the ball and after that we have to run.
The loss leaves West Brom at the top of the table, but they could be replaced by Bournemouth on Saturday if they get a result against Sheffield United.
Ismael’s side are next in action when they host local rival Birmingham City at The Hawthorns after the October international break.
It was definitely a blip for West Brom. They have controlled and dominated every league game they’ve played so far this season until this one against Stoke.
It will be a learning curve for Ismael’s side in their quest for promotion and as a promotion rival Stoke would have been a tough opposition for any team in the division.
With Ismael always inserting his players into his style of play, as well as getting key players back into shape, I would be sure to suggest that the best is yet to come from West Brom this season.
As a result, there might not be too much need to panic for those with a Baggies persuasion just yet.