Belfast Telegraph

McManaman wants to win over critics

Callum McManaman has vowed to be remembered for all the right reasons after joining West Brom to finally remove a two-year-old stigma that continues to hang over him.

Following boss Tony Pulis' arrival at The Hawthorns earlier this month, talented winger McManaman became the Welshman's first signing on Wednesday for £4.75million from Wigan.

Pulis has hailed the 23-year-old as a player with "so much talent", and who "on his day is unplayable", ensuring McManaman has plenty to live up to.

There is one major blot on his copybook, however, as there are many who have not forgotten McManaman's first Premier League start for Wigan in March 2013 at home to Newcastle.

McManaman perpetrated a horror tackle on Massadio Haidara that was fortunate not to break the left leg of the Frenchman.

It was a challenge missed by referee Mark Halsey, whilst the Football Association were powerless to act at the time due to FIFA-enforced regulations that prevented a retrospective three-game ban.

"There are some people that still go on about that tackle," said McManaman.

"It was my first start, I was just excited. I'd waited for my chance for so long and I felt I was ready, and then that happened.

"It's nothing to be proud of, but it was one of those things.

"Now I just want to be talked about for the good things I do, and hopefully I can do that and change people's minds."

Pulis has challenged McManaman to prove he is one of the best wingers in the country, particularly now he again has the right stage on which to perform with the Premier League.

McManaman certainly feels he can showcase his talents, adding: "Once the chance came to return to the Premier League then I had to go for it. It's exciting.

"I have to admit it was hard to leave Wigan after being there for eight years because I liked the club, fans, everything.

"But joining up with Tony was a pull, he's someone who gets results and he seems like a top bloke as well.

"The Premier League, though, was the main factor for me. I've missed it a lot to be honest.

"It's massive because everyone wants to play in the Premier League, so I'm looking forward to getting going again."

McManaman is unlikely to be Pulis' only transfer before the window closes on Monday at 11pm as he has other irons in the fire.

Pulis said: "If the window closed now we'd be a little bit disappointed, so we are still looking to strengthen a few other areas if we can."

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