Friday 21 October 2016

Pulis reports no distraction for Baggies, insists coach Gerry Francis

Published 07/09/2016 | 11:31

Tony Pulis has been West Brom boss since January 2015
Tony Pulis has been West Brom boss since January 2015

First-team coach Gerry Francis insists it is business as usual at West Brom, despite recent speculation surrounding the future of manager Tony Pulis.

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Reports emerged last week suggesting Pulis could be set to leave The Hawthorns following a transfer window which left Albion supporters underwhelmed and frustrated. However, contrary to those stories, Press Association Sport understands the 58-year-old Welshman is not looking to end his stay with the Baggies.

Speculation about a reported rift behind the scenes followed a statement issued by new chairman John Williams, who sought to explain the club's transfer dealings.

Despite a club-record deal for a defensive midfielder being in place - understood to be Malaga's Ignacio Camacho - the only new players to arrive on deadline day were defender Allan Nyom and striker Hal Robson-Kanu.

Albion did sign Matty Phillips from QPR, Brendan Galloway from Everton and Nacer Chadli from Tottenham earlier in the window.

Williams revealed the club decided to end their pursuit of the midfielder they had been in talks over for "footballing reasons'' and that West Brom had then turned their attentions to a different target, which also proved unsuccessful.

Asked about the situation on Sky Sports News, Francis said: "S peculation is speculation. I think that if there's anything regarding Tony then you need to speak to Tony.

"From my point of view we've just been getting on with the job of preparing for the season and, obviously, starting the season. We've had a late takeover of the club and managed to get a few players in late in the transfer market, which was very important.

"I understand there are a couple of others which didn't quite go through, which is very disappointing, but it happens, and it is really now about knuckling down and getting on with the Premier League season.

"The rest is finished now until the next window. We've had a reasonable start - a win, a draw and a defeat - and we're 10th in the table at the moment.

"It's important now to get the new players in, who haven't been able to play yet because of the international break. So Bournemouth away is our first game to sort the players out and try to fit them into our system. We're looking forward now to trying to get a result on Saturday.``

Former Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko and ex-Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh played for West Brom last weekend in a friendly against Delhi Dynamos.

On the free agents, Francis said: " They've both been training and played at the weekend, but unfortunately Marouane got quite a bad gash on his shin, but he's okay and trained yesterday (Tuesday).

"But obviously we're going to have a look at the situation and see where it goes from there really."

Press Association

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