Saturday 29 April 2017

Furious Pulis in a spin over Shawcross jibe

West Ham United 2 West Bromwich Albion 2

West Brom manager Tony Pulis Picture: PA
West Brom manager Tony Pulis Picture: PA

Declan Warrington

Tony Pulis labelled as "absolutely disgraceful" the way he believes Stoke have "spun" claims he called Ryan Shawcross a "loser".

The West Brom manager, whose team rescued a 2-2 Premier League draw at West Ham yesterday with Gareth McAuley's stoppage-time header, said he used the word "loser" but not in an aggressive way.

As the fall-out from Saido Berahino's drug ban and his transfer to Stoke continued, their manager Mark Hughes insisted predecessor Pulis called Shawcross a loser in a voicemail he left the defender.

However, Pulis claimed he told Shawcross "you've never been that", and that he felt "innuendos and allegations" about him were wrongly coming out of his former club.

"It's absolutely disgraceful," said the 59-year-old after McAuley's goal had cancelled out second-half efforts from Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini. Nacer Chadli had given West Brom a half-time lead.

"Firstly, the phone call I made to Ryan is private. And then, yes, I did mention losers, but I said about people with innuendos making allegations that weren't true.

"When you lose a game of football you can still be a winner by taking it on the chin and getting on with it.

"I did use the word loser but I meant it in that way and I actually said, 'Ryan, you've never been that'.

"It has been spun in a horrible way and I have to say, Stoke-on-Trent, forget about the football club, or the people at the football club, and the supporters, Stoke-on-Trent is a wonderful place.

"I was there for 10 years and I have raised millions of pounds for the Donna Louise (Children's Hospice), which is in Stoke-on-Trent. I've carried the Olympic torch through Stoke-on-Trent. I took them from the Championship to the Premiership. I took them to an FA Cup final and to Europe. Do you think I'm gong to criticise that area and those people?

"It's absolutely disgraceful whoever has put that out," he said.

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