Belfast Telegraph

Tony Pulis prepares to spend big at Baggies

Tony Pulis is ready to splash the cash in January in an attempt to help West Brom break into the top 10 in the Premier League.

Finishing in the top half of the table was the vision Pulis bought into when he signed a contract extension a month ago.

Since arriving at The Hawthorns as head coach in January 2015 he has guided West Brom to 13th and 14th-place finishes, under the remit of merely preserving the club's Premier League status.

However, September's takeover by a Chinese investment group led by entrepreneur Guochuan Lai has changed the landscape somewhat and Pulis is eager to strengthen his squad with more signings of the ilk of Nacer Chadli - who he acquired for a club record £13million this summer.

''We have to bring that sort of quality in,'' said Pulis, whose team could be sixth in the table come Saturday evening with victory at Hull.

''We've got to go away from where we've been before, when we sign five or six players and we're taking chances with them.

''We've got a steady group at the moment but we've got to add quality to it as we move along, whether it's one or whether it's two. You've got to bring players in who are going to hopefully bring that level up.

''It's very difficult but we've got to try to change the course of the tide. It's an investment in making the team better - the team improves, you get bigger crowds, more support and more benefits from it.''

However, Pulis was keen to stress West Brom would not risk spending beyond their means and the prudent approach under previous chairman John Williams would remain under the Chinese owners.

''I think as we've said before, the new owners have said they will want to maintain the way this football club has been run,'' said Pulis.

''That is that finances are first and foremost the most important. What we've got to do is make sure we do as much work as we possibly can on the players we want to bring in and prove to them that they are players worth investing in.''

One man who will be part of the process is new chief executive Martin Goodman, appointed this week to succeed Mark Jenkins who is stepping down after a decade in the role and 14 years at the Hawthorns.

Goodman, currently chief financial officer at Stoke, will start his new job on January 1 and Pulis is looking forward to being reunited with a former colleague.

He said: ''I knew Martin at Stoke, I think it's a good appointment for the club.

"He's a good man, he's been at Blackburn and Stoke and he knows John Williams very well so their relationship is good as well.

"I've spoken to him a couple of times, he's a good man, he knows the job and he will get on with it. He's very diligent and very hard-working.

''I must also take this opportunity to say my relationship with Mark (Jenkins) was first class and I wish him all the best.''


From Belfast Telegraph