Ismaël on maintaining momentum and Millwall

Ismael Millwall

Valérien Ismaël insists his side are feeding off a “huge desire” to keep building momentum in the Sky Bet Championship after stringing four consecutive victories together.

Albion return to action on Saturday for the first time since their dramatic last-gasp win at Peterborough two weeks ago, hosting Gary Rowett’s Millwall at The Hawthorns (ko 3pm).

Previous to their recent triumph against Posh, the Baggies also collected maximum points from encounters with Luton Town, Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers respectively, leaving them joint-top of the table on 13 points from the opening five matches.

And the boss has stressed the importance of not settling for just four straight victories, challenging his group to go on and earn “seven, eight and nine” wins on the spin in order to cement their spot at the summit of the division.

Val said: “We’ve won four games on the bounce, but in this league it isn’t enough to say we are happy.

“It looks good, but it’s not enough.

“We have such high standards and goals which we desperately want to achieve.

“We know exactly what we have to do this season and to stay in the position we are in now, we need to be more than average. 

“We need to be at the top. To be at the top means to be winning six, seven, eight or even nine games in a row.

“If we are average in this division, another team will come and take our spot in no time at all.

“We need to keep going. We need to keep delivering performances. We need to have the right mentality at all times and we need to make the right decisions at the right times.

“We have a huge desire to keep the momentum going.”

The Lions earned their first league victory of the 2021/22 campaign in their final fixture before the international break, beating Blackpool 2-1 at The Den courtesy of a last-minute Jake Cooper strike.

Ismaël is expecting a stern test from a side he believes has “fighting spirit” and a “great mentality”. 

“Millwall is always a tough game.

“They are a strong team with a great mentality. They have fighting spirit and a manager who can get the best of his players.

“They are dangerous opponents for all of these reasons.

“We know exactly what we have to do. We have to take on the challenge and compete in the right areas.

“We are at home and our purpose is to win the game.

“We need to put all the energy we have got into the performance to give us the best chance of getting the three points.”

  • Ismaël