Belfast Telegraph

West Brom's Pulis bemoans lack of depth as Baggies held to dour draw

West Brom 0 Middlesbrough 0

By Nick Mashiter

West Brom boss Tony Pulis reiterated his desire for new players after a dull draw with Middlesbrough.

The Baggies were held to a desperate 0-0 stalemate at home to Boro on Sunday as their problems were laid bare at The Hawthorns.

Pulis wants a host of new players with Tottenham midfielder Nacer Chadli on the radar ahead of Wednesday's transfer deadline.

He has signed just two this summer, Matt Phillips from QPR and Everton loanee Brendan Galloway, and after the Baggies were jeered off Pulis insisted everyone at the club understands the need for new signings.

He said: "There's no problems with the boardroom, they know my feelings. They don't need people to boo to know my feelings.

"We have to bring some players in. Two years ago when I came in they were struggling at the foot of the table and 14 or 15 of the players are still here.

"They have kept going and finished 12th and 14th but we need new blood. We need to get some players in, hopefully over the next few days that'll happen.

"The players need to see some coming in, players with quality. We are the top team in the West Midlands and that's what we want to be and stay. If you speak to any of the players here they are all waiting for people to come in.

"The players we have brought in since I've been here (Jonny) Evans, Fletch (Darren Fletcher) and Salomon (Rondon) have been fantastic."

Pulis left Saido Berahino on the bench until the second half but refused to explain his decision to ditch the striker as he preferred to bring on 17-year-old Jonathan Leko ahead of him.

Leko lasted five minutes before pulling up injured and being replaced by Berahino, who has been continually linked with a move this summer with Stoke and Crystal Palace bidding.

Pulis added: "That's going to be another topic of conversation over the next few days. We'll see in the next 48 hours hopefully."

The Teessiders collected their first clean sheet of the season and have won five points from their first three games since their return to the top flight.

But manager Aitor Karanka was happy with their steely display which ensured Boro remain unbeaten going into the international break.

He said: "I am really pleased because we knew before the game it was going to be really tough, especially after our defeat on Wednesday (a 2-1 EFL Cup loss at Fulham). It was the third game in a row away.

"We knew against West Brom it was going to be difficult. Our performance has not been the best but I am really pleased with the reaction we had from Wednesday.

"I didn't like the first 15 or 20 minutes, we didn't play well and didn't play with the spirit we have to play with. The reaction in the second half was better. One thing we cannot lose is our spirit."


WEST BROM: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Galloway, Phillips, Yacob, Fletcher, Field (Gardner, 76 mins), McClean (Leko, 64 mins (Berahino, 71 mins)), Rondon. Unused subs: Rose, Olsson, Lambert, Wilson.

MIDDLESBROUGH: Guzan, Nsue, Ayala, Gibson, Barragan, Forshaw, Clayton, Stuani (Fischer, 90 mins), Ramirez (Nugent, 84 mins), Downing, Negredo. Unused subs: Konstantopoulos, Bernardo, Rhodes, Reach, De Sart.

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Man of the match: Daniel Ayala

Match rating: 2/10

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