Belfast Telegraph

Pulis: Baggies' confidence building

Tony Pulis believes West Brom have repaired their fragile confidence as he targets an FA Cup run.

The Baggies head coach has underlined the importance of the cup ahead of Saturday's fourth round tie at Birmingham.

He is unbeaten in his first three games, including a 7-0 win over Gateshead in the FA Cup third round, with the Baggies also yet to concede a goal under him.

They go to St Andrew's on Saturday for a midlands derby and Pulis thinks Albion have been lifted since his arrival.

He said: "The players are a little bit different now to when we first walked in, there is a little bit more brightness around the place.

"Confidence is built on results, if you can put yourself through a run of games unbeaten and carry on to the next game - whether it's an FA Cup or Premier League game - keeping the momentum is important, building that up builds the confidence.

"We have to keep that going and add a few more players to the group."

Pulis is chasing Wigan's Callum McManaman and has spoken to Manchester United's Darren Fletcher, although is unlikely to complete any deals before the game.

He took Stoke to the 2011 FA Cup final, losing 1-0 to Manchester City, and has told his squad of the competition's significance.

He said: "It's a proper cup tie, I'd rather we approach it the right way and we have spoken about it. We will let them know Friday and Saturday that it's a proper game and one we want to do well again.

"The FA Cup will always be special for people of my generation, personally it is the greatest cup competition in the world."

Birmingham are 11th in the Sky Bet Championship having lost just twice in Gary Rowett's 13 games in charge.

He has lifted them from second bottom to nine points adrift of the play-offs since taking charge in October a nd Pulis acknowledged the turnaround under the ex-Burton boss.

"He has done a wonderful job and I'm sure the Birmingham supporters will be pleased he has taken over and the way he has pushed it on," said Pulis. "They are well organised, well balanced and (Clayton) Donaldson works hard up front.

"They have a little bit of quality as well. We know it's going to be a tough game, it's a Championship side, away from home and it's the FA Cup."

Pulis is without the injured Jonas Olsson (Achilles), while Youssouf Mulumbu is with Congo for the African Nations Cup and Jason Davidson is on Australia duty for the Asian Cup.

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