Jonathan Greening says Valerien Ismael needs results to justify his style of football as West Brom’s promotion campaign has started to falter.
The Baggies favourite, who was part of the Albion side which won the Championship title in 2008, claims fans don’t like Ismael’s direct approach and fears for his former club if they end up in the play-offs.
Twelve months before Tony Mowbray’s team had carried all before them to win the league, they had come up short in the most painful fact, losing a play-off final at Wembley.
So Greening knows all about the risks of missing out on automatic promotion – and is worried about West Brom’s current downward trajectory – with Ismael coming under fire from supporters.
“Valérien Ismael is under pressure at West Brom, not necessarily for their current run of results, but because of the style of football being played,” Greening told MyBettingSites.
“It’s very direct, long ball football straight into the box. The Baggies fans prefer the ball on the ground, with an attacking style.
“One victory in five games won’t help his situation. They were in an excellent place [with their league position] and now Bournemouth and Fulham are flying and it’s theirs to lose.
“West Brom need to kick themselves into gear, because when you get sucked into the playoffs there’s a lot of pressure on you.
“I remember the year that we lost the playoff final to Derby, we were in and out of third and sixth place all season. When you start dropping down, the tension is palpable.
“When you get on a good run and win games, the confidence is there to stimulus you on. Those in seventh and eighth place will be feeling like they can catch West Brom.
“They have to turn it around quickly. Several players are underperforming. They need to get the big players back, performing and scoring goals. That’s how they’ll get the fans back on side.”
West Brom go to Coventry City on Saturday looking for their first win in five games and looking for their first goal in nearly five hours of football.
QPR’s win over Derby in midweek saw them slip down to fourth in the table and they currently trail the automatic places by eight points.
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