Belfast Telegraph

Keeping afloat is key for Pulis

Tony Pulis was brought in to steady the ship at West Brom but knows he must not capsize himself.

The Baggies boss is scouting targets and preparing for games while training to row the Channel for the Staffordshire-based Donna Louise Trust.

The 57-year-old will row from Tower Bridge to the Eiffel Tower - 450 nautical miles - with a group over six days in May.

The Trust supports children with life-limiting conditions and their families and Pulis has already climbed Kilimanjaro for the charity.

He is combining his training in the Baggies' gym with watching matches and players, while also plotting for Monday's Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.

"Every year for the last six or seven years I have done something for the Donna Louise, I didn't do anything last year and they rang me up and said 'we have a big one this year'," he said.

"I have an enormous association with Stoke-on-Trent and with the hospice themselves.

"With all the stuff I've jumped into here it's going to be pretty tough.

"I have set something up in the gym where I can watch players and games. Time goes quicker now rather than just going backwards and forwards.

"The lads have been good to set up things here."

Pulis is keen on adding a new striker to aid the Baggies and ease the pressure on 14-goal Saido Berahino.

Defender Craig Dawson, James Morrison, Brown Ideye and Victor Anichebe are the next highest scorers with two.

But Pulis, who replaced Alan Irvine last month, admits the January window has its problems.

He said: "It's such a difficult market because people are trying to fill positions, especially teams at the bottom who need to strengthen. They have had half a season looking at their strengths and weaknesses.

"There are loads of players I'm interested in, until we sign them we'll keep it as close to our chest as possible.

"We have to get the team winning enough points to stay in the Premier League. It will be really tough, everyone has put a run of results together or looks stronger than they did."

The Baggies are a point behind Everton and the Toffees have struggled with consistency this season but Pulis, who has Berahino in his squad after the striker was banned from driving for 12 months after pleading guilty to drink driving, expects them to pull away from any trouble.

"I don't see Everton being in it, they have had a poor run of results but they will pick up, there's too much quality in the group," he said.

"Before the season started I looked at their squad and thought it was the strongest squad I have seen for years.

"Roberto (Martinez) has added to it because of the Europa League, I expect them to go on a run of games and not be anywhere near it."

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