Belfast Telegraph

Football worst game in the world for kicking you up the backside - Tony Pulis

West Brom boss Tony Pulis on Friday refused to look beyond Saturday's clash with Bournemouth, citing the end of Claudio Ranieri's reign at Leicester as a cautionary tale.

Pulis was appointed boss in January 2015, guiding the Baggies to Premier League safety.

And his side are eighth ahead of this weekend's fixtures, which see Bournemouth visit The Hawthorns on Saturday.

"In management it turns so quickly you've got to be absolutely focused on the next game," Pulis told a press conference on Friday morning.

"You can't take your foot off the pedal. I'm afraid if you do that, start to get relaxed or take things for granted, it's the worst game in the world for kicking you up the backside."

Pulis was reluctant to discuss putting pressure on Everton, who sit four points above his side. The Baggies play the Toffees on March 11, after facing Pulis' former club Crystal Palace.

And he would not entertain the prospect of Manchester United winning Sunday's EFL Cup final with Southampton to potentially create an additional European place in the Premier League.

"I'm just concerned about Bournemouth," Pulis added.

"That's the most important thing, to make sure we're prepared properly for what will be a tough game.

"It's important we focus on them and not the others. We'll wait until we get them out of the way and then take it from there.

"I'm concerned about Bournemouth. The most important thing in my mind now is just winning that game against Bournemouth.

"I'm not concerned about anything else. People who look further than that I don't think are in the mould that they should be in.

"I'm concerned, concentrating on just getting one thing right and that's that game against Bournemouth."

Albion are looking for a seventh win in the last eight home games. The exception was the loss to Manchester United on December 17.

Following their FA Cup exit, it is their first game in two weeks.

Pulis reported "one or two niggles", but declined to name names of those players doubtful.

The Cherries, 14th entering this weekend's fixtures, have built a strong squad under boss Eddie Howe, Pulis says.

The Welshman added: "It's a fantastic story and Eddie's a top young manager. I've got great respect for him, the football club and the players.

"They've done exceptionally well over the past three or four years. We know we'll have a tough game.

"They've got a good squad of players."

Chairman John Williams this week said Albion would sign players this summer only if they could strengthen the first XI.

Pulis said: "John has agreed that if we're going to sign players they have to be of an ilk that is going to improve the first XI, to bring the quality in that we need."


From Belfast Telegraph