Sunday 15 September 2019

Tony Pulis: James McClean was taking stick all through the game but he needs to be calm

James McClean
James McClean

Sean Taylor

Tony Pulis believes the Football Association was right not to punish James McClean for the way he celebrated West Brom's win against Sunderland last weekend.

But the Baggies head coach has urged the Irishman to be more careful about keeping his emotions in check.

Albion recorded their first home victory of the season against McClean's former club and he celebrated after the final whistle with a fist pump in front of the travelling supporters, who had barracked him during the match.

The 26-year-old escaped with a warning from the FA.

Pulis last week criticised the governing body for its lack of transparency over what he called its ''extraordinary'' fines handed out to managers but on Friday morning he praised it for its handling of McClean's case.

"I think the FA has done the right thing," said Pulis, whose team face Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday.

"I've had a chat with him. I think you've got to be careful what you do today. He was taking stick all game but doing that to the supporters...he's just got to be careful.

"I just think it was a celebration because we'd won a game of football.

"His first celebration was towards our supporters, he saluted our supporters, and then he turned to the away fans. I think doing that in front of the Sunderland supporters...he's just got to be careful.

"He's a great lad whose integrated fantastically into the group and he's just got to be careful.

"I think he was just absolutely delighted that we'd won. It was against his old club, which gives it added spice, but he's got to be cool and calm and hold himself back at times.

"He shouldn't react, but I think the FA has done the right thing."

Saido Berahino's goal to give West Brom that 1-0 win against Sunderland was only the seventh time the Baggies have scored this season in the Barclays Premier League.

Pulis acknowledges his team have not been as lethal in front of goal this season but believes he saw some positive signs last weekend.

"From last year, where we looked like a potent side going forward and looked like we were going to score goals, we've not done that. But Saturday was encouraging," said Pulis.

"I think in the Premier League we got more crosses in than any other team last weekend, so we just need to get our players back and get them working up and down the pitch, especially the wide players.

"It hasn't helped with Salomon (Rondon) being away. He's had those six weeks away in South America (on international duty), flying there and then flying back. He hasn't had time really to settle down and take his boots off and relax, and that's been difficult."

Pulis will check on James Morrison ahead of the trip to East Anglia.

Morrison has been struggling with an ankle problem this month but he trained on Thursday and the Baggies head coach has not ruled out the possibility of the Scotland midfielder returning to the squad on Saturday.

PA Media

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