West Brom part ways with Ismael

West Brom's The Hawthorns

West Brom have confirmed they have sacked head coach Valerien Ismael after just eight months in charge at The Hawthorns (West Brom 2/1 to be promoted).

The Baggies had started the campaign as one of the favourites for promotion, but a slump in form means they now sit fifth and are on the verge of dropping out of the playoffs.

Three defeats in their previous four league games have helped Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town close the gap on the Baggies, with all three tied on 45 points.

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Even though the former Barnsley boss had guided his team into the top six, some sections of the fanbase had voiced concerns over the Frenchman’s style of play.

Ismael, who moved to The Hawthorns in June, won just 12 of his 31 matches in charge and has now departed, with his assistant Adam Murray has also leaving the club.

Confirming his departure, the club issued a statement saying: “Valerien Ismael has left his position as head coach. The club would like to place on record its thanks to Valérien and Adam for their efforts and wishes them well in the future.

“The process of recruiting a new head coach is now under way, and an appointment will be announced in due course.”

West Brom (6/1 to finish in the top two) owner Guochuan Lai is on the lookout for his eighth head coach since he bought the club in September 2016, with Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Darren Moore, Jimmy Shan, Slaven Bilic, Sam Allardyce and Ismael all handed the reins in the past.

Former Aston Villa and Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is already being named as a potential successor, while Tony Mowbray and Michael Appleton are also thought to be on the club’s shortlist.

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