Friday 17 November 2017

Tony Pulis defends Antonio Conte's touchline actions

West Brom manager Tony Pulis, pictured, understands why Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is animated in the dugout
West Brom manager Tony Pulis, pictured, understands why Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is animated in the dugout

West Brom boss Tony Pulis insists Antonio Conte has nothing to apologise for over his touchline antics.

The Baggies go to Chelsea on Sunday seventh in the Premier League and aiming to extend their four-game unbeaten run.

They face a Chelsea side which manager Conte has revived after they finished 10th during a disastrous title defence last season.

Jose Mourinho accused Conte of humiliating him after being too animated when celebrating Chelsea's fourth goal in their 4-0 win over Manchester United but, with Pulis also lively on the touchline, the 58-year-old said he understood.

He said: "I get everybody, whether you sit down and watch - and it doesn't look as if you're involved emotionally, or if you're jumping about, you are, it's all the same.

"The great thing is that the first time I saw myself on the TV, quite a few years back, I couldn't believe it was me.

"But you get so wrapped up in the game and so wrapped up with the team that you're working with that you're so desperate to win.

"You don't lose control but you put yourself in another bubble and it's completely focused on that result and that performance and for 90-odd minutes you can't explain it unless you're doing it."

The Baggies have lost just three of their last nine games against Chelsea but the hosts are three points clear at the top having won 3-1 at Manchester City last week.

Diego Costa is the league's top scorer with 11 goals after netting just 12 times last season and Pulis admitted the reborn hosts will be hard to stop.

"I'll take a sleeping tablet on Saturday night and then wake up and hope it's all over," he joked.

"They've got three fantastic players (Costa, Eden Hazard and Pedro), but that's what the Premier League is all about. We go against Manchester United and they'll have similar players, Arsenal have got similar players.

"That's what makes this league a great league. The top, top teams have top, top players."

Press Association

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