Friday 17 November 2017

Pulis salutes 'fantastic' Foster after keeper excels again

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster
West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has highlighted the importance of goalkeeper Ben Foster in the Baggies' success so far this season.

Pulis' team continue to exceed all expectations and remain surprise contenders for European football after beating Bournemouth 2-1 at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

However, it was only possible thanks to a couple of superb injury-time saves from Foster to deny Lys Mousset and then Tyrone Mings.

It meant West Brom claimed all three points and reached the 40-point mark in the Premier League - something the club did not achieve until the start of April last season.

"Ben's made two great saves in injury time, but it's about time he had something to do and do it well for us," joked Pulis.

"He's paid a lot of money for doing that. But, in all seriousness, I think Ben would have been disappointed if he'd been beaten by either of those.

"We're pleased with him, he's been fantastic for us. This season his performance levels have been absolutely fantastic. He's been top drawer and he's a fit lad - he works so hard in training.

"He's brought a lot back to this football club defensively."

West Brom winger Matt Phillips will have a scan on Wednesday to assess the severity of the hamstring strain that ruled him out against Bournemouth.

Pulis said: "It was a big disappointment Matty couldn't play because the way Bournemouth play, they're a very open and expansive team and that grass they leave behind them, it would have been perfect for him. I was really disappointed he was injured.

"But i t was too much of a risk and we don't want to lose him further down the line. He'll have another scan on Wednesday to see how it is."

Bournemouth remain without a Premier League win in 2017 and have lost their last four matches.

With his team five points above the bottom three, Eddie Howe concedes the Cherries are in a relegation battle, but he is not panicking just yet.

" I believe in the players, I am not afraid to face it head on, we are in a relegation battle until the point we are safe," said Howe.

"If we come back from this, and I am sure we will, then we will be a much better team for it. Our destiny is in our own hands and we have got to force it our way.

"One way for us to get out of this run of form is to work smarter, not to change everything that's good about us. We certainly have to improve, we are giving ourselves too much to do to win games."

Press Association

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