By Olly Allen

29th Nov, 2021 | 8:10pm

Valerien Ismael faces biggest weekend of his West Brom tenure

West Brom manager Valerien Ismael is preparing for the biggest weekend of his Hawthorns tenure so far.

The pressure is growing on the former Barnsley boss and two fixtures in the space of 24 hours could define whether he is the man to take the Baggies forward.

Albion themselves face a huge game on Saturday, as they make the short journey to Coventry City. The Sky Blues currently sit fifth in the Championship table, just a point behind Ismael’s side.

Mark Robins’s team have a superb record at the Coventry Building Society Arena this season; no team in the Championship have picked up more points at home (23).

That will worry West Brom, who go into the game with just one point from their last five away matches – last week’s goalless draw at Blackpool followed four successive defeats on the road.

Just as important in deciding Ismael’s future could be the game happening the previous evening, as league leaders Fulham host second-place Bournemouth on Friday night.

With the prospect of at least one of those two teams dropping points, West Brom would then be able to close the gap to the automatic promotion spots to as little as five points on Saturday afternoon.

Of course that is easier said than done, as Fulham have drawn their last two matches and Bournemouth are winless in their last three but Albion have not been able to capitalise.

Should the Baggies lose against Coventry, not only could they find themselves further adrift from the top two in terms of points, but they would also drop down the table.

Despite their poor run of form, Albion have not fallen below third place since August and they have been in the top four all season.

Yet defeat at Coventry, coupled with home wins for Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers against Preston North End and Stoke City respectively, would see them drop to sixth.

At that point even their playoff hopes would look precarious and Ismael would have little argument if he was handed his P45.

In other West Brom news, the Baggies have been urged to go out and sign Daryl Dike in January.

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