West Brom target experience after giving Pulis the push

Date published: Monday 20th November 2017 7:54

Sam Allardyce: Potential England manager

West Brom want an experienced Premier League manager to replace the sacked Tony Pulis, reports suggest.

The Baggies axed Pulis on Monday after just two wins in his last 21 league games following Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea.

Press Association Sport understands Albion ideally want a new manager with top-flight experience and are keen to appoint as soon as they can .

But the Baggies recognise the process of appointing Pulis’ successor may not be easy and are also prepared to take their time if necessary to get the right man.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill is not a contender for the job but ex-England boss Sam Allardyce has been already heavily linked.

Owner Guochuan Lai watched the Chelsea defeat after flying over from China for a pre-arranged trip.

Lai, who bought the club last year, has flown back to China and will be aided by chairman John Williams during the manager search.

The owner trusts former Blackburn chairman Williams and will not be swayed by a big name.

Assistant head coach Gary Megson, who was manager between 2000 and 2004 and returned to the club in the summer, has been put in caretaker charge.

Albion are just a point and a place above the relegation zone after an 11-game winless run in all competitions ahead of Saturday’s trip to Tottenham.

Chairman Williams told the club’s official website: “These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club.

“We are in a results business and, over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing.

“We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony’s contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Pulis succeeded Alan Irvine when the Baggies were a point above the relegation zone in January 2015, eventually leading them to 13th.

They finished 14th in 2015-16 and came 10th last season but failed to win any of their final nine matches.

Pulis defended his record at West Brom before losing to Chelsea and he also received support from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after his dismissal.

“A big hug for Tony, as for (Slaven) Bilic,” Guardiola said.

“Everybody knows, when we don’t have results, managers here win the Premier League and months later they will be sacked. We have to accept that and work with that situation.

“I am a little bit disappointed because I have a great relationship with Tony Pulis. Every time we went against West Brom he was an amazing man, so gentle. Always we drink a good red wine and hopefully we can do it again in the future.”

Pulis also released a statement via the League Managers Association in which he said his Baggies record stood up to scrutiny.

“Over the last three seasons we have achieved a great deal and I am proud to have managed West Bromwich Albion,” he said.

“I would like to thank the two owners, Jeremy Peace and Mr Lai, the Board and fans for their support during my time at West Brom. Jeremy Peace and Mr Lai have played an important role in the off-field success and given the team a platform to build from.

“My remit was to develop the squad and ensure we delivered results which would in turn improve the club’s financial position. We have achieved this year on year and I am pleased to have played a part in the club’s growth.

“Our final league position in the last three seasons has represented the accomplishment of our targets as a club; sustaining our status in the Premier League and delivering stability, throughout the club’s transition of ownership.”

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