WBA boss Tony Pulis: Jurgen Klopp deflecting attention with long-ball accusation
Published 18/12/2015 | 11:51
West Brom boss Tony Pulis believes Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp was trying to deflect attention from the Reds' failings when he claimed Albion "only played long balls" at Anfield last weekend.
Klopp celebrated Divock Origi's stoppage-time equaliser like it was a winner six days ago, pumping his fists towards the Main Stand and taking his players to salute the Kop after the fiery 2-2 draw on Merseyside.
The managers did not shake hands after the game, with Klopp going on to say Albion "only played long balls".
Baggies winger James McClean then described the German as "a bit of an idiot" in the press this week.
"It was disappointing, but he's got his opinions and he can say what he wants," Pulis said of Klopp's comments.
"We apologise. We actually played three longer passes in 99 minutes than what Liverpool played in that game. Sky TV came out with that stat.
"So as a football club we apologise to Liverpool for playing three more longer passes than they did. There's always a bit of spin put on things these days.
"But if I had a team that was worth £200million, playing against a team that was worth less than £20million and we never won that game, I'd be doing my best to divert it away from the fact that I had 10 times more value on the pitch than my opposition and couldn't win.
"I'm not annoyed - I'm just stating the facts. Forget all the spin - that's the facts.
"That was the value of our team on the pitch.
"I don't know the fella and I don't want to say anything else. They were the facts."
West Brom now face a match with in-form Bournemouth - a test Pulis believes will be "more difficult" than the trip to Liverpool.
"We've got a big game on Saturday, a game we think will be more difficult than the Liverpool game," he said.
"Bournemouth are well coached, they defend well and their last five goals have all come from set-plays, so they're very good off set-plays which is again an important part of our game.
"For the teams that don't have the quality some of the others have got, it's a way of scoring and working situations out to score goals and win games."
Stephane Sessegnon could return to the squad after a hamstring injury, but Claudio Yacob is unavailable following a family bereavement.