Tuesday 24 April 2018

Pulis fears complacency as he hits 40

West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Bournemouth

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe with West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis. Photo: Reuters
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe with West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis. Photo: Reuters

Sean Taylor

Tony Pulis does not want West Brom to get complacent after reaching the 40-point mark in the Premier League.

The Baggies boss has steered his side to the tally widely regarded as the requirement for survival well ahead of schedule. West Brom did not hit that target until the start of April last season.

But Pulis' team are not in a relegation battle this time around. Instead, they continue to exceed all expectations and remain surprise contenders for European football.

Albion are in eighth place in the table and seventh spot may bring qualification for next season's Europa League - a position currently occupied by Everton, who are four points ahead of Pulis' side.

The Welshman would not be drawn on talk of Europe, but demanded his players maintain the high standards they have set this campaign, although he would like his team to be more ruthless.

"We've got 40 points so I think we'll be okay," Pulis joked. "I don't think we'll have to be looking over our shoulder.

"But I want a performance now every week and to make sure we play football. We played it through the pitch again today with purpose - not backwards or square or sideways. But what we do need to do is be more clinical in the final third.

"We scored two good goals and responded well to going behind early, but the disappointing thing is, and I know they had a couple of late chances and Ben [Foster] has had to make a couple of good saves, the game should have been out of their reach.

"We should have scored a third goal during that time when we were on top."

Bournemouth took a fifth-minute lead through Josh King's penalty, but goals from defenders Craig Dawson and Gareth McAuley turned the game on its head before half-time.

James Morrison, Jonny Evans and Nacer Chadli all had opportunities to extend West Brom's lead and they would have been made to pay had Foster not produced a couple of fine saves in injury time.

Sunday Indo Sport

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