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Tony Pulis: Late goals not a consistent problem for West Brom

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Tony Pulis doesn't believe his team's habit of conceding late goals is a systemic problem and has defended his side's eight-match winless streak.

Tony Pulis (AMA)

Although the Baggies boss was disappointed that Sofiane Boufal was allowed to run 70 yards four minutes from time to roll in Southampton's winner, he admitted it was a 'special goal'.

It means Albion have let in goals in the final 10 minutes in each of their last three games, costing them five points.

But Pulis, who admitted his team were 'flat' in a dreadful first half performance, said it was not a problem related to his team.

"Nah, not at all," he responded. "I think the kid's come up with a bit of magic today.

"I've seen him play on numerous occasions, and he's a player that can drift in and out of game but when he gets the ball, he's one of them you just don't know what he's going to do. Today he produced that little bit of magic and we didn't.

"There's two challenges I'm not too happy with along the way but people will say I'm over-critical of players."

Albion are now on an eight-match winless streak in all competitions and sit just two points above the relegation zone. But Pulis defended his side's poor form.

"Going in to today's game we'd only lost two games," he said. "A lot of those games we've drawn we'd actually been winning until the last 10 minutes so that's most probably the most disappointing thing about it."

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The Baggies were poor in the first half, and were fortunate to go into the break level with Southampton, but Pulis put it down to the Monday night game with Leicester.

"I thought we were very flat," he admitted. "I don't know whether it was the game (against Leicester), you have to change your week when you play on a Monday night.

"We had them in Tuesday and gave them Wednesday off and tried to make the week a normal week so we'll have to look at that. But we were flat first half."

Albion weren't in the game until Pulis brought Gareth McAuley on for Gareth Barry and switched to a back three.

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Jay Rodriguez missed a glorious chance against his old team and Nacer Chadli forced Fraser Forster into a save.

And from then, Pulis wasn't expecting Southampton to go on and win it.

"I thought they dominated possession in the first half and dominated the play," said the Baggies boss. "They had a couple of good chances which they missed.

"Second half, we changed it, and we were much better when we changed it, it made the game much more competitive and even.

"And then we had the best chance of the game really with Jay and the unfortunate thing is it didn't go for the kid.

"If we score then we most probably go on and win the game. It's terrible to say but I just couldn't see them scoring."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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