Ismaël: ‘Success is a collective effort’

Valérien Ismaël

New Baggies boss Valérien Ismaël aims to create a culture of “togetherness” at Albion, saying everyone associated with the club has a “part in the process” to play. 

The 45-year-old Frenchman is keen to implement his style and philosophy both on and off the pitch ahead of the start of the Sky Bet Championship campaign in early August.

Ismaël spent his first two days getting to know players and staff at the training ground, before heading up to The Hawthorns on Friday afternoon to meet club employees, academy youngsters, Baggies legends, representatives from The Albion Foundation and, most importantly, supporters. 

The Head Coach believes the chances of achieving both short-term and long-term success are dramatically enhanced when the whole club shares the same vision and ambition.

He said: “It’s a pleasure to be here. The first feeling I’ve had from the first few days has been a good one and now we are ready to start the work.

“We have a lot of work to do and we will need everyone at the club.

“I think it’s important to send the right message that we will need everyone, including the people in the background and behind the scenes.

“They are very, very important. It’s important we are all on the same page, share the same vision and work hard together.

“It’s important to understand the thinking with each player and each staff member. It’s a normal process. We need to know each other and have that understanding for each other.

“The first day of pre-season was great. We made a great start all together and now we need to build on it. 

“It’s important everyone at the club knows they have a big part to play.

“Success is not only a manager or the players. Sure, they have a big part to play, but behind the scenes all the people who work for the club need to know they are important and that we need to achieve together.

“We need to build that feeling.

“I want to be involved in the club and the community to understand how the club works and what it means to everyone.

“As a manager, if I have an overview and a better understanding it will be easier for me to create that emotional connection with the club.

“Togetherness is important. We can achieve what we want together. Everyone is part of the process. Everyone can achieve something. We all work for the same purpose.”

Ismaël likes his teams to play an energetic and vibrant brand of football, pressing from the front and winning the ball back in high areas. 

The boss has been pleased with the players’ attitude in the opening few days of pre-season and says the quicker he and his coaching staff can drill the new style into the group, the better chance they have of getting off to a positive start.

“It’ll be a new way to train and play for the players,” he added.

“They came back with desire and a reset in terms of mentality. That is what you need for the new season.

“Everyone is ready to help the guys understand the system quickly. My job, along with my staff, is to make sure the players are ready to compete.

“It’s important they understand why we do this. The first thing is hard work. We need to create a work ethic for each other. If one doesn’t, then we are dead. 

“We need that mentality. We work together and we need to implement that.

“The intensity is the most important thing. We want to dominate our opponent with our intensity. For sure, we have the quality in possession and we want to become a complete team.

“I think promotion has to be the long-term goal. At the minute it’s important for me to implement the philosophy. When I implement the philosophy we need to have the right players to play how we want. When we get that we will be ready to compete. 

“When that feeling is coming, that will be the moment when we can start the attack for promotion.”

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