West Bromwich Albion manager wants a fast start against Peterborough United, big players are back, but a couple are still absent

West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael insists his side remain positive despite a poor run of form ahead of their Championship fixture with Peterborough United at the Hawthorns tomorrow (January 22, 3pm).
West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images.West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images.
West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images.

The Baggies are without a win in four Championship games and have won just twice in their last 10 outings to fall off the pace in the race for automatic promotion.

Albion will be without key men, goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and midfielder Alex Mowatt, because of suspension tomorrow, but centre-backs Cedric Kipre and Kyle Bartley should be back after injury, while new signing Daryl Dike is expected to start. Dike scored 12 goals in the second-half of last season when on loan at Barnsley to power the Tykes to the play-offs - Ismael was his manager.

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Ismael told the Express & Star: “It’s been a tough time and we are not satisfied with the results, but I am still positive.

“I know when we get players back, with the quality we have got, with the work ethic we have got - things will improve. We have got Dike now as well. That will give us a massive push.”

On the West Bromwich Albion club website, Ismael added: “Defensively we are stable. We need to show up on the board now in terms of winning games. That’s why we do the job – to win games.

“We are not happy with the points average we are getting at the minute. The good thing with football, and especially in the Championship, is that things can change very quickly.

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“The next game arrives very quickly and it always gives you a chance to get back on the winning track.

“It’s important we start strongly. The guys are clear in their minds that they have to start strongly.

“We’ve seen so many times this season that the fans react so positively when we get the breakthrough early.

“They can give the guys the confidence and we need to get that confidence back.

“We need to keep working, keep pushing, create chances and add the final piece.”