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Tony Pulis: My West Brom have an identity

Sport | Published:

Boss Tony Pulis has defended his team's 'identity' after months of criticism from supporters about West Brom's style of play.

The Baggies' head coach has continually had to stick up for his unadventurous set-up this season.

Only bottom club Villa have scored fewer goals in the Premier League than Albion's 33 and both sides are joint bottom in terms of chances created.

Albion have the worst possession statistics in the league and also the worst pass success rate.

All 10 of the club's league wins have been by a one-goal margin and seven of those have finished 1-0.

However, the Baggies were effectively safe from relegation by the start of March and Pulis is not ashamed of his defence-first, results-driven approach.

He said: "It's always been my philosophy to make sure everybody works hard and the shape of the team and organisation.

"We allow them to have the ball in certain areas, we're quite happy for them to be there.

"It gives us time to get set, it gives us time to put ourselves in positions that if they do come in we've got bodies there to cope with it.

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"You look at my team, you can say it's got an identity.

"The worst thing for me as a coach or a player is going and watching a game of football and look at the team and think I don't know what the bloody hell they're doing."

Pulis has a long-standing reputation for playing unattractive football, but he reckons that occasionally it is unfairly levelled at Albion whenever they fail to win just because he is the head coach.

Asked about his style after the 1-1 draw at Bournemouth, he said: "Not that long throw and the flick and the goal? Sorry that was their team."

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The Baggies only had 31 per cent possession on the south coast and 41 per cent possession against West Ham, but they had 12 shots against the Cherries and 15 shots at home to the Hammers.

Pulis said: "If you look at the games we've played, we've done exactly what we've needed to.

"Saido alone could've scored a few goals, Gards could've had a hat-trick (against West Ham), we've had great chances. We have to be more clinical."

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