West Brom boss Tony Pulis stands firm following Huddersfield defeat
Under-fire Baggies boss Tony Pulis has leapt to his own defence in the face of growing criticism with the assertion that Albion are in a better position now than when he took over.
The away end turned on Pulis during today's limp 1-0 defeat away at ten-man Huddersfield, raining down chants of 'You're getting sacked in the morning', 'Tony Pulis, get out of our club', and 'Tony Pulis, your football is s**t'.
Albion have now failed to win any of their last 10 games, and have only won two of the last 20 matches in the Premier League.
But Pulis brushed off the anger from the away fans and says the club has grown during his reign.
"Anybody who has been on a run of games like us and we’ve been on a poor run in respect of results and winning and losing, you’re going to take criticism," he admitted.
"I’ve been in the game a long time to know that’s what happens no matter who you are and what club you’re at.
"It's coming up to three years since I took over the football club. The club is in a better position now than what it was then.
"What has happened is that we’ve continuously grown. Last year we finished in the top ten,
We signed some good players.
"Unfortunately one or two have been injured and we’ve not been able to put our strongest team out and we haven’t won games. It hasn't gone for us.
"Irrespective of what you’ve done previously that goes out the window.
"All the supporters think about is the game that you’re in today, next week, and the week after. We move on."
Rajiv Van La Parra curled a gorgeous goal into the top corner on the stroke of half-time before Huddersfield were reduced to ten men on the hour mark when Christopher Schindler was shown a second yellow card.
"We played Southampton a couple of weeks ago and the kid scores a wonder goal," said Pulis. "We play Huddersfield today and the kid scores a wonder goal.
"That was the difference between the two teams again today.
"I have to say this place is like Stoke when I was first at Stoke. It’s absolutely rocking, everyone is as one and it dosn’t half make a difference."
Huddersfield were awarded a free-kick in the build-up to the goal when Jay Rodriguez tangled with Jonathan Hogg.
"The free kick is annoying because we think it’s a free-kick we should have and not Huddersfield," said Pulis. "And from that position the kid scores a wonder goal.
"It’s a fantastic strike. When he hits it, and I’m behind it, I actually thought it was going wide.
"It curls right at the end. I don’t think many in the crowd thought it was going in.
"It was just a wonderful strike and they go in 1-0 when it was a tight half. I dont think both sides created much."
Albion struggled to lay a glove on Huddersfield when they had 11 men, and it took them until injury time to properly test Jonas Lossl despite the hosts being down to 10 men for the last half an hour.
But then Lossl made two fingertip saves to deny substitutes James McClean and Matt Phillips.
"I don’t want to criticise the players because they keep going," said Pulis. "We lacked that little bit of quality at times.
"Although, come the end the keeper’s made two great saves. Salomon's had a great header too. Last year they were going in , this time they’re going the wrong side of the post."
When Pulis was asked if the players had dropped their performance levels, he responded: "I don’t think so at all.
"It was the final third, the final pass the final cross more than anything else today.
"There were times when people were spare if we’d have picked the players out but we’ve not delivered that final ball.
"But that’s not because the players aren’t trying or anything like that.
"Just a little lack of quality from them at that time and individually the team I’ve started with and the players I’ve brought on they’ve all gone out and had a go."
He bristled at the suggestion he should be starting McClean, considering how well he's been performing for Ireland, saying "It’s why do I start with one player or someone else. I get the responsibility to pick the team and that’s what I’ll do. One day when you’re a manager you can pick it."
But did admit that the winless streak might start to take it's toll on his players, none of whom were willing to speak to the media afterwards, although plenty did sign autographs on their way to the coach.
"The biggest worry is the players," said Pulis. "The players’ confidence and commitment to want to go out and do what they can do. We could do with a break or two."