Tony Pulis would understand if West Brom sacked him

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Under-fire Baggies boss Tony Pulis would understand if he got the boot in the next fortnight.

Tony Pulis. (AMA)

Albion's head coach defended his record at The Hawthorns at an intriguing press conference this morning, but at times, also seemed resigned to his likely demise.

The head coach has only won two of the last 20 Premier League games and supporters are calling for his head.

When Pulis was asked if it would be unfair to sack him after the Tottenham game, should the Baggies struggle against Chelsea and Spurs, he said: "No, not at all.

"If the club decide what they decide... I've got great respect for the football club, the supporters, the chairman, the board, it's just life.

"It's the way it is, if you don't get results you're under pressure."

Pulis is fighting for his job at The Hawthorns following toxic scenes in the away end at the John Smith's Stadium two weeks ago when the away fans turned on him.

But even though he was philosophical at times in his press conference, playing down the importance of football in his life, at other points, he came out swinging with a list of his achievements at The Hawthorns.

"Last year we were one result worse off than what we are this year and we stayed in eighth more than any other position in the league and ended up finishing tenth," said Pulis.


"It was only the third time in history this club has finished tenth in the Premier League.

"It’s only the second time since 1967 this club has finished as the top Midlands club.

"We’ve played kids in this group since I’ve come in. They’ve made 89 appearances the youngsters and again no one else has done that. The record goes on and on and on."


Pulis, who seems to be including Saido Berahino's appearances in that tally of matches, also claimed he was a victim of his own success.

He says expectations have risen at The Hawthorns during his tenure and bemoaned injuries to his best creative players after Nacer Chadli was ruled out for the next few weeks with a hip problem picked up in training on Thursday.

"I understand the more you give the more people want," he said. "We brought in a lot of good players. Players we hoped would gel straight away, and we've been unfortunate.

"Chadli, Morrison and Burke are all players who can create and score and we've not had them.

"Like every team, if you don't have your best players, especially at the top end of the pitch, you're going to struggle."

The head coach also took issue with claims his side were dull to watch and pointed to the 2-2 draw with Watford and the 3-2 defeat to Manchester City as proof that home games can be exciting.

West Brom debate: Tony Pulis speaks ahead of crunch clash with Chelsea

"People say the football's been boring but the last two games at The Hawthorns have seen nine goals scored," he said.

"People tell me we're this, that, and the other, look at the league, there are four or five teams who have scored fewer goals than us.

"One of those teams is my home-town club Bournemouth and everyone tells me what great football Bournemouth play and Eddie's done a fantastic job down there.

"It's just what you have to put up with. It's life."

At Huddersfield, angry Albion fans were calling for Pulis to be sacked, and there is a possibility the home crowd will turn on the head coach tomorrow with owner Guochuan Lai in attendance.

Pulis understands why supporters are frustrated, and urged them to get behind the players, if not him.

When asked if he had a message for those being critical, he said: "Not at all, just get behind the team. I don’t think it is about anything else but the team.

"They pay their money they have their right to criticise, that’s part and parcel of the game.

"The most important thing is that they turn up tomorrow and really get behind the lads. "None of the supporters can criticise the players for the effort they put in."

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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