Belfast Telegraph

Tony Pulis holds hands up and admits to West Brom selection errors

By Robert Jones

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis admitted that his team selection cost the Baggies any chance of victory against Manchester City.

Pulis sent out his team with new signing Rickie Lambert in attack alongside last season's star man Saido Berahino.

It was Berahino who spurned West Brom's best chance, but with City imposing themselves in midfield through Yaya Toure and David Silva, who both scored in the 3-0 win, it would only have been a consolation effort anyway.

Albion manager Tony Pulis acknowledged he made an error in playing two up front, saying: "I take responsibility for the way we set up.

"The fact we had Saido and Rickie, who played really well together, pulled us away from really what we should do. I said to them afterwards, 'I take responsibility for that one'.

"Silva was controlling the game and looked really dangerous. We never got to grips with that.

"We had that great chance, if Saido scores, makes it 2-1, then we're back in the game, but you have to give credit to City - they were the better team."

Asked if Berahino's miss was the turning point, Pulis (pictured) said: "No. The pivotal moment was when I decided to play the two up front and not the extra man in midfield."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini was glowing in his praise for a fine team performance.

"I'm always pleased when my team score with attacking football," said Pellegrini.

"I like to see good players playing in a technical way. I think we did really well.

"When you have already scored goals, it's important to try to score more goals, but it's also important to have organisation and be a balanced team.

"I think our team have to be very focused and concentrate on going game by game.

"We won this game. Tomorrow we must start thinking about Chelsea - that's the next game.

"I always repeat that the Premier League is always very close. Every point when at the beginning is very important at the end of the season."

City captain Vincent Kompany scored the third goal and he claimed that the team have got their hunger back after a disappointing defence of their title last season.

"We have something to prove. Last season was below what we're used to doing. It was a good way to start the first game," he said.

"We came out knowing we had a point to prove. If you'd seen the faces in training last week, I knew the team were going to be ready for this game."

Belfast Telegraph


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