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West Brom boss Ismael to speak...

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West Brom boss Ismael to speak with Robinson over vaccine stance


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West Brom manager Valerian Ismael says he intends to speak with Callum Robinson regarding his decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Republic of Ireland international has tested positive for coronavirus twice, and last week revealed that he'd so far opted against receiving the vaccine.

Robinson put reaction to his decision to one side while on international duty, scoring 5 goals across the games with Azerbaijan and Qatar.

The 26-year old is back with his club ahead of this weekend's derby with Birmingham City at The Hawthorns.

And Baggies boss Ismael intends to raise the issue of vaccination with Robinson when the time is right.

"We will speak about it," said the Frenchman.

"We will have time to speak, he only came back yesterday from international duty so it’s been difficult."

West Brom are just three-points off the top of the Championship table, having made a bright start to the season under the former Barnsley and LASK manager.

Robinson has been a key component of that start, scoring 3 goals in 10 games. However, his manager is keen to keep the Ireland striker - and indeed the rest of his playing staff - fit and healthy.

"The first thing to say is it’s a personal choice," said Ismael.

"We can’t force anyone to take the vaccine and we need to respect the position of each person and not stigmatise him or make him look bad.

“He has the right to take his decision. The only thing I can say is that I am fully vaccinated and the club provided early this week vaccination possibility for the players so the majority of our players are vaccinated now.

“So we have a good feeling but we need to respect everyone.

“When you are a public person and you work at a football team you need to make sure you protect yourself, protect your team-mates and protect your family because every day we are in contact with a lot of people.

"At the moment the only way we can protect ourselves is to get the vaccine. That’s my own thought on this.

"We try to speak with the players all the time to make the players aware how important it is.

“The second side is to make sure we can continue to play and train, because if one player is positive and another player is not vaccinated he needs to isolate as well.

“So we need to make sure we don’t create a schedule with more games that we don’t need and that we have consistency in our training.

“The only way to do that is to get the vaccination and get the communication with the players.

"Otherwise, I respect the decision and I can understand one person saying they don’t want it because of this, this and this. But I took my decision because it’s more positive than negative."

"We try to speak with the players all the time to make the players aware how important it is.

“The second side is to make sure we can continue to play and train, because if one player is positive and another player is not vaccinated he needs to isolate as well.

“So we need to make sure we don’t create a schedule with more games that we don’t need and that we have consistency in our training.

“The only way to do that is to get the vaccination and get the communication with the players.

"Otherwise, I respect the decision and I can understand one person saying they don’t want it because of this, this and this. But I took my decision because it’s more positive than negative."

Ismael told reporters he's held meetings with his players regarding the vaccine twice so far.

He believes everyone has been adequately informed of its benefits in their push for promotion back to the Premier League.

Ismael said, "We can only make them aware it’s important, it’s very important.

"In the changing room, everywhere, we have all about the vaccine, why it is important and why it is positive. We try and make it aware how important it is and the situation is at the minute - that the danger is still there.

"We need to protect team mates, the squad so we can carry on with the schedule and the games and with the training sessions.

"We don’t need the training ground being shut down for two weeks, that could be massive for us.

"It’s just to make sure that everyone knows. Such a decision is personal and I understand this.

"But we try, we reinforce the message every day, every week. We say it’s important to get the jab."


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Callum Robinson Coronavirus Covid-19 Republic Of Ireland Valerian Ismael West Brom

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