Pulis throws down gaunt­let to Hughill

Sunday Sun - - Football -

TONY Pulis was al­ways con­fi­dent Jor­dan Hugill would re­dis­cover his scor­ing touch and the Mid­dles­brough man­ager has now chal­lenged the West Ham loa­nee to stay on the goal trail.

Hugill slot­ted home from the penalty spot against Wi­gan to net his first league goal since his sum­mer move to the River­side and was on tar­get again five min­utes later as he lashed a half-vol­ley into the roof of the net.

The 2-0 vic­tory earned Boro a first league win in four games af­ter three straight draws and was es­pe­cially sweet for Hugill, a na­tive Teessider who once pulled pints in one of his home­town’s pubs.

Pulis said: “I was re­ally pleased that Jor­dan got the two goals. What peo­ple have missed, and I’ve said it be­fore, is that the lad went from Pre­ston to West Ham and was never in­volved in any foot­ball at all in the Premier League.

“Then in pre-sea­son he got an in­jury, so he hasn’t re­ally done any­thing for six months. He came here re­ally cold, his fit­ness lev­els were nowhere near those of the rest of the group.

“But he’s worked re­ally hard and, in the last few games, we’ve seen some good signs. The play­ers are de­lighted for him be­cause he’s such a good lad. He works so hard and he’s got his qual­i­ties.”

Pulis is pick­ing Hugill ahead of both Britt As­som­ba­longa and Rudy Gest­ede and ex­pects his per­for­mances to im­prove now he has bro­ken his Cham­pi­onship duck.

Newcastle and Bournemouth play­ers and mem­bers of the armed forces ob­serve a min­utes si­lence for Re­mem­brance Day be­fore the Premier League match at St James’ Park, yes­ter­day

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