Pulis warns McClean to avoid 'stigma'
West Brom manager Tony Pulis has warned James McClean he must protect his reputation after his snub of the English flag.
McClean refused to face the cross of St George during the national anthem while on Albion's pre-season tour of America.
The winger, signed from Wigan this summer, is from a republican background in Derry and has also refused to wear a Remembrance Day poppy out of respect for people killed on Bloody Sunday - reasons for which he later explained in an open letter to supporters and the club.
"Obviously there has been a stigma around him and he doesn't need to start that up again," Pulis said.
"So hopefully we've nipped it in the bud and we can get on with our things and he can get on with his things. I didn't see the situation but I had a chat with him and explained what we do as a football club and the way we are and I think he's fine with everything.
"We've got Northern Ireland lads in the squad and he's been absolutely fantastic with them, and the way he's mixed and integrated with the group has been brilliant.
"I've seen the pictures and he's got to turn towards the flag like everybody else has and he recognises that."
Meanwhile, the Baggies are expected to step up their interest in Liverpool's Rickie Lambert in the next 24 hours.
The Baggies are keen to bring the striker to The Hawthorns and talks are set to take place between all parties, it is understood.
A deal could be wrapped up by the end of the week with Albion's transfer activity expected to gather pace now boss Tony Pulis has returned from the United States following their three-game tour.