Belfast Telegraph

Now we're on the rise: Brunt confident new boss Pulis can steer the Baggies to safety

By Jim van Wijk

West Brom captain Chris Brunt believes there is "no better guy" than Tony Pulis to help the team make the small changes needed to guide them towards Barclays Premier League safety.

Former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss Pulis was at Upton Park on New Year's Day to watch the team battle to a 1-1 draw, having earlier been confirmed as Alan Irvine's replacement.

Pulis addressed the players at the team hotel before the game, as well as in the dressing room, and also relayed messages down to caretaker boss Rob Kelly from the director's box, with assistant David Kemp heading into the dugout for the second half.

Brunt is confident the Baggies - who recovered from going a goal down to equalise through Saido Berahino and then looked solid as well as offering an attacking threat on the break - can show Pulis they have the qualities needed to kick on in 2015.

"I am sure the new manager will have seen a lot of stuff he was pleased with, but also some stuff he would want to tighten up on," Brunt said.

"He nipped in a couple of times, said his bits and pieces and told us what he expected us to do and, moving on, what he expects each person to do for their position.

"I know a few lads who have played under him and his success rate speaks for itself and in the position we are in at the moment there is probably no better guy for the job."

Brunt continued: "He spoke to us before at the hotel and told us we weren't a million miles away and we know that.

"He then nipped in (to the dressing room) at half-time and at the end, and he seems very hands-on.

"Obviously he is here to do a job and get points on the board, to get us up the league because at the moment we are in a bad position.

"While confidence isn't high, we can take a lot of positives out of a point against a West Ham team that is going well and we more than matched them for the whole game. Hopefully that will breed a bit of confidence and hopefully we can get a win in the FA Cup game on Saturday (against Gateshead) and set the ball rolling."

Brunt was as disappointed as anyone that Irvine's reign did not work out, the Scot having only taken over during the summer.

"Alan is a great coach and a good man, but results speak for themselves and it is a results business," the midfielder said.

"Nowadays with the media in football, everything lands on the manager's shoulders and it was unfortunate because we go out on a Saturday and we weren't getting the results for him.

"It is disappointing, but you have to move on very quickly.

"I am sure we will get things together on the training ground over the next couple of weeks and that Tony Pulis will come in and do a good job, as he has at all of his previous clubs, and we will start climbing the table."

Belfast Telegraph

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