Club News

Baggies squad return to training ground

Matt Phillips

Albion’s first-team squad returned to the club’s training ground on Tuesday for COVID-19 testing ahead of pre-season kicking off later this week.

The players will need to return negative results ahead of getting back to work and meeting their new boss, Valérien Ismaël, who will begin his tenure at The Hawthorns on Thursday having followed Government quarantine guidelines.

The Frenchman’s arrival will officially signal the start of a new era for the Baggies as they start preparations for the 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Ismaël is set to impose a new identity on the pitch, with his previous sides renowned for their impressive fitness levels and togetherness.

And the 45-year-old has emphasised the importance the next five weeks will have in helping to mould his team for their opening fixture away at Bournemouth on Saturday, August 7.

“During pre-season we will be able to implement the philosophy we want for the players so they are ready for the first game of the season,” explained Valérien.

“It will be important for me to understand how the group of players here play and think on the pitch, and they will be learning a new way of playing.

“It will be a long season but pre-season is going to be crucial for us. The boys will need to trust the process and our purpose is to take care of the players and see them compete together.”