Tony Pulis expressed delight at Salomon Rondon’s performance after his first Premier League goal led West Brom to 1-0 away win over nine-man Stoke City on Saturday.
Pulis was warmly received by the Stoke fans on his first return to the club he managed for nearly a decade over two spells, and was then provided a straightforward victory as two first-half red cards allowed West Brom to take command.
Stoke winger Ibrahim Afellay was sent off for slapping Craig Gardner in the 25th minute, and six minutes later Charlie Adam paid the price for appearing to stamp on Craig Dawson’s leg as he was also dismissed.
Rondon took the first chance he got to capitalise on West Brom’s numerical advantage by heading home what proved to be the winner from substitute Rickie Lambert’s far-post cross in first-half injury time, and Pulis thinks there will be more to come from the Venezuelan striker.
“First half when the players are sent off I thought we did ok and Salomon scored a great goal,” Pulis said.
“When it was 11 against 11, they looked the better side, they looked more threatening, although we probably had the best chance with James Morrison’s [shot], from which [Stoke goalkeeper Jack] Butland has made an unbelievable save.
“I’m really pleased with Salomon. Salomon is still not 100 per cent fit and he needs games, he needs time and he needs the opportunity to get used to football in England.
“His movement off the ball is first class and Lambert’s pass and his finish was very, very good.”
Pulis indicated he had not seen the incidents that led to the red cards, but was quick to pay tribute to the home fans for the welcome he received.
“It was a wonderful reception,” Pulis added. “[Stoke chairman] Peter [Coates] paid me to do a job and I did the job. The respect I got today is just special. It’s a special lot, it’s a special club.”
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