Bag­gies need vic­to­ries but Pulis panic is so pre­ma­ture

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

EST Bromwich Al­bion would be mad to sack Tony Pulis.

Not that they are plan­ning to at present! How­ever, you are never quite sure when clubs stop win­ning.

Okay, they have not won since Au­gust and their 10 Pre­mier League points from 11 matches is their low­est since the 2005/ 6 sea­son when they were rel­e­gated.

Ev­ery­one knows it’s a re­sults game and many of the for­eign own­ers panic and are trig­ger- happy be­cause there is so much money in the Pre­mier League.

But at The Hawthorns, it’s a case of ‘ don’t panic Cap­tain Main­war­ing’.

Just be­cause some fans have started anti- Pulis songs, I am sure the chair­man, John Wil­liams, recog­nises the job Pulis has done in re­cent sea­sons with lesser funds than many of the top clubs.

There have also been in­juries, although that is why squads are so nec­es­sary.

Lack of con­fi­dence comes with losses and it’s the man­ager’s job to re­store that as soon as pos­si­ble.

The next two matches are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, Chelsea at home and Spurs at Wem­b­ley af­ter the in­ter­na­tional break – but then there will be two home games against New­cas­tle and strug­gling Crys­tal Palace be­fore the Bag­gies travel to Swansea.

They cer­tainly need points from those games be­fore play­ing Liver­pool away and Manch­ester United at home.

This run then con­tin­ues at Stoke on De­cem­ber 23. An in­ter­est­ing fix­ture – Pulis was man­ager there from 2006 to 2013 and main­tained their Pre­mier League sta­tus once they were pro­moted in 2008.

The English chair­man, Peter Coates, holds his nerve. Pulis was Tony will have to start win­ning soon but those who are ag­i­tat­ing should give him more credit and be care­ful what they wish for. also man­ager at Stoke from 2002 to 2005. In his sec­ond spell, he left when the Coates fam­ily felt a change was needed but Tony and the chair­man re­main on good terms. Mark Hughes fol­lowed and is still there. He too has done a good job but had a wor­ry­ing start to the sea­son un­til re­cently. They had just three wins from their open­ing nine matches but a vic­tory at Wat­ford was fol­lowed by Satur­day’s 2- 2 home draw with Le­ices­ter. The Pot­ter­ies is re­lax­ing again! Ever­ton’s 3- 2 come­back win on Sun­day lifts them above Al­bion, which il­lus­trates just how quickly things can change af­ter less than a third of the sea­son.

Tony will have to start win­ning soon but those sup­port­ers who are ag­i­tat­ing should give him more credit and be care­ful what they wish for. The Bag­gies have hardly been the big spenders in re­cent years.

They are the West Mid­lands’ only Pre­mier League team and I am con­fi­dent they will stay up. 888sport make them 3/ 1 to go down.

I had a chat with Gareth South­gate at Stoke be­fore the match. He was there to watch Jack But­land, Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy, in par­tic­u­lar. I was a guest at the Eng­land man­ager’s wed­ding in 1996. He is a lovely Al­bion boss Tony Pulis and, inset, Eng­land man­ager Gareth South­gate man but don’t be fooled by this de­meanour. He can be tough.

Man­ag­ing Eng­land is such a hard job with un­rea­son­able ex­pec­ta­tions, par­tic­u­larly from the me­dia.

There are also fewer play­ers. I noted that two weeks ago, of the 245 play­ers who were ac­tive in the Pre­mier League, only 15 were 21 or un­der AND English.

It is not easy but then no- one said it was. 1966 was so long ago!

Both the Stoke chair­man and my­self did men­tion to Gareth that, for what it is worth, we would al­ways want to see a Bri­tish man­ager in charge of Eng­land.

They have also been the most suc­cess­ful – Sir Alf Ram­sey, Bobby Rob­son and Terry Ven­ables.

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