Thursday 27 October 2016

James McClean waits for FA verdict after outburst

West Brom 1-0 Sunderland

Jamie Holland

Published 19/10/2015 | 02:30

James McClean celebrates in front of Sunderland fans
James McClean celebrates in front of Sunderland fans

James McClean faces an anxious wait before he finds out if he is to face punishment for goading Sunderland fans at the end of West Brom's victory at the Hawthorns.

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The Irish international was barracked throughout the game by Sunderland supporters, who clearly still remember his refusal to wear a Remembrance Day poppy in 2012 during his spell at the club.

McClean had his say at the final whistle when he made a celebratory gesture in their direction, which drew an angry response from Black Cats pair Danny Graham and Lee Cattermole and prompted a shoving match.

As referee Martin Atkinson didn't see the incident and will not mention it in his report, there is a possibility that the FA could use video evidence to charge the Irish international retrospectively.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis vowed to talk to McClean if he finds that the midfielder crossed the line.

"Let me have a look at it first," he said. "If he's out of order I'll speak to him.

"I heard a roar or whatever and didn't know whether the players were involved in something.

"James played really well. He's a smashing lad and the lads have really taken to him. He's a really nice lad.

"James is not the sharpest tool in the box, and that's not being disrespectful to him. But he's a smashing lad."

Victory moved Albion seven points clear of the bottom three and Pulis admitted the win was vital.

"It was a tough game," he said. "The good thing for us was getting a result after the Everton match when we were 2-0 up and then conceded three goals in the last 20 minutes, which was a real kick in the stomach.

"For confidence as much as anything else it was important to come and win here."

Boaz Myhill saved from Billy Jones in the first half but the game was instantly forgettable until McClean's fist-pump gesture to the visiting fans.

Saido Berahino hit the winner on 54 minutes, with new Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce claiming that the goal should have been disallowed because of a foul on goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.

"We'll probably get a ticking off for surrounding the referee after the goal went in but I could hardly blame the players for that because the referee has made such a big error."

Irish Independent

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