With Valerien Ismael’s West Bromwich Albion side heading into Tuesday night’s Championship clash on a run of just one win in four games, the Frenchman would have undoubtedly been hoping for his team to reinforce their promotion credentials with a dominant display against an out of form Cardiff City side.
And that is exactly what the 45-year-old manager got, as strikes from Karlan Grant, Alex Mowatt, Matt Phillips and a Curtis Nelson own goal saw the Baggies run out 4-0 winners at the Cardiff City Stadium, a result that sent West Brom to the top of the Championship table.
As is to be expected in such an impressive display, a number of the Albion side turned in excellent performances in the fixture, none more so than summer signing Adam Reach.
Being deployed at left wing-back once again in the match, with Conor Townsend filling in at centre-back to cover the injured Matt Clarke and Dara O’Shea, the versatile midfielder proved to be an influential fixture of the Albion side against Cardiff, with his creative input helping the Baggies seal all three points in south Wales.
Indeed, over the course of his 90 minutes on the pitch, Reach provided one assist, made three key passes, as well as completing two crosses, four long balls, one dribble and 32 of his 39 attempted passes – a success rate of 82%.
The £23k-per-week man also impressed in a defensive capacity, making four tackles, one interception and winning seven duels, in addition to drawing one foul for his team.
As such, while the result will undoubtedly have pleased Ismael the most, the performance of Reach will not have been that far behind, as the £2.25m-rated midfielder proved against Cardiff that he is more than a capable stand-in for Townsend at left wing-back, and perhaps even made a case in the Frenchman’s eyes that he should be the first choice in the position.