Friday 20 October 2017

'James McClean won't be playing for me after what he's done to Wales' - West Brom boss jokes about Irish hero

James McClean and (inset) Tony Pulis
James McClean and (inset) Tony Pulis

Nick Mashiter

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has joked he is ready to bench James McClean after he ended Wales' World Cup dreams.

The winger scored the winner in the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 victory in Cardiff on Monday as they reached the play-offs at Wales' expense.

Newport-born Pulis has been installed as one of the favourites for the manager's job with current boss Chris Coleman considering his future after their failure to reach Russia.

It is something Pulis has dismissed and he also revealed McClean has been rubbing in Ireland's win.

"I just ignored him walking down the corridor. He said 'morning' with the biggest grin I've ever seen in my life," he smiled, ahead of Monday's trip to Leicester.

"He won't be playing for me for what he's done for Wales! It was a great goal and great technique on his right foot. Obviously it was a goal that killed off our hopes and aspirations.

"There's a bit of banter going around and the manager taking a bit of stick as you can imagine. James has most probably done better for Ireland than he has for us but that sometimes happens.

I think we paid £500,000 for him and I don't think anyone would say James has been anything but brilliant. Hopefully Ireland qualify, fingers crossed, but they have got to get through the qualifying game."

Derry-born McClean has caused controversy by refusing to wear a poppy on his shirt out of respect for those who lost their lives during the troubles in Northern Ireland.

It has led to him being targeted by some fans but Pulis believes McClean's public reputation is unfair.

"James is a smashing lad, great around the place. Everyone has respect for him," he said.

"He's 100 per cent week in week out. People don't know James McClean. People don't know Tony Pulis, it's just perception most of the time. You can only speak as you find him."

Meanwhile, Nacer Chadli has been in Germany for a routine injection in his back from Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, who has treated Usain Bolt and been credited with pioneering treatment using calves' blood.

"He's got a little bit of stiffness and I think he's gone to some fella in Germany who he's used before and he's actually been able to loosen it up. The doc is happy for him to have the injection," Pulis added.

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