Thursday 22 February 2018

West Brom boss Tony Pulis keen to move on from court battle

Tony Pulis insists his court battle has not affected West Brom
Tony Pulis insists his court battle has not affected West Brom

A bad week for Tony Pulis ended on a high with a 3-1 victory against Watford on Saturday and the West Brom boss insists he never took his eye off the ball amid his court battle with Crystal Palace.

Pulis had earlier this year been ordered to pay £3.7million damages to his former club by a Premier League Managers' Arbitration Tribunal. He claimed the decision was unfair and mounted a challenge in the High Court, but judge Sir Michael Burton ruled against him after a hearing in London.

An expensive week might have felt even more costly had Watford repeated their win at The Hawthorns in last season's corresponding fixture, but first-half strikes from Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt gave the Baggies a cushion.

Christian Kabasele halved the deficit on the hour mark but the Hornets never really looked like snatching a point, and their cause was hindered further when Roberto Pereyra was sent off with six minutes remaining. Matt Phillips sealed the points in stoppage time as West Brom won back-to-back home matches for the first time since March.

Pulis said: " I think what people have got to realise is I'm quite resilient. As I've said before I don't agree with the judgement. I know I'm telling the truth and that's all that counts for me.

"That's washed away and you move on. I've never taken my eye off the ball and this has been going on for a while. It hasn't affected the football club.

"I'm from a very tough background and brought up the right way by my parents. I'm disappointed but you move on."

Watford manager Walter Mazzarri felt Pereyra's red card cost his side a point and the Italian blasted referee Graham Scott, believing his decisions played a big part in the outcome of the match.

Pereyra was sent off for reacting to a challenge from James McClean, who escaped with just a yellow card following a confrontation and skirmish involving players from both sides.

Mazzarri said: " I think it's absolutely normal that a player gives a small push after a rival pushes him all the time. If someone has to be sent off then it has to be the other player. If not, then both should be sent off. It should never be like it was.

"The referee changed the result of the game. On the first goal (Watford goalkeeper Heurelho) Gomes was blocked. You can't block the goalkeeper. If you do block the goalkeeper it is a foul. I am angry that we lost the game unfairly.

"The football was probably the best in an away game since I arrived at the club. We didn't deserve to lose. We deserved something from the game."

Pulis on the other hand was more concerned about trying to keep his player out of trouble.

He said: " It was right in front of me. I think the kid kicked out. I was more worried about James and trying to keep him away from it. You just don't want your players to get involved - you don't need it."

Press Association

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