By Jack Cunningham

2nd Oct, 2021 | 9:10am

Valerien Ismael: West Brom were tired against Stoke City

Valerien Ismael believes that West Brom showed signs of tiredness against Stoke City as their unbeaten league start came to an end.

The Baggies lost 1-0 away from the Hawthorns and only managed 11 shots, with just two on target.

Speaking in his post-match press conference [Express & Star], the Frenchman revealed that he thought his team showed signs of tiredness and were punished by the better team on the night.

He said: “I don’t know if it was tiredness, but the most important thing to say is that Stoke were better tonight.

“Stoke are the best team we have played so far.

“And when you start to make a lot of mistakes like that, it’s a sign of tiredness.

“I think in the performance, we lost some energy because we weren’t clinical in the pocket; we lost too many balls.

“We accept tonight that the opponent was better; we were not good enough.”

Interesting claims from Ismael.

This was the exact same West Brom side that started against Cardiff City on Tuesday, yet they didn’t look like the same team as the Baggies struggled to get going.

Now, you could argue that Ismael should have made some changes from the team that thumped Cardiff, but why change a winning team?

However, you can’t really say that the Baggies were tired because Stoke only made two changes from the side that played Preston North End on Tuesday, and they had a lot more energy.

Unfortunately, we think you just have to say that this was a poor display by the Baggies, and the international break could be coming at the right time.

Now, if results go against them today, they could end up in third place heading into the international break, which still represents a strong start to the season.

In other West Brom news, one Baggies player wowed a BBC pundit on Friday despite the defeat.