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Pulis happy with ´fantastic´ goalscorer McClean

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Dec 2015

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West Brom boss Tony Pulis praised goalscorer James McClean after his header earned a deserved 1-1 Premier League draw at home to Tottenham.

After Dele Alli opened the scoring by prodding in Toby Alderweireld’s long pass, McClean finished off a fine team move by heading in Darren Fletcher’s cross to score his first Premier League goal for the club. 

The draw extended West Brom’s unbeaten run to three matches and left them 13th in the table, four points outside the top six.

“The coaches have been telling him [McClean] to get inside full-backs when crosses come in,” said Pulis. “It’s a great ball from Fletch and he finished it with aplomb.

“I’m really pleased for the kid because he is unbelievable. He’s been a wonderful, wonderful signing for us.”

However, Pulis criticised McClean for a “reckless” tackle in the second half on Mousa Dembele, for which the winger was booked.

“The challenge in the second half was reckless and he shouldn’t do that,” said Pulis. “He’s an honest lad but he’s got to be careful.”

Pulis also highlighted Jonny Evans for praise after the centre-back played out of position for the second game in a row and impressed once more.

“He’s been smashing,” he told BBC Sport. “We missed [Chris] Brunty last week at left-back because he was suspended so Jonny went there and he played in midfield today because [Claudio] Yacob, who has done really well for us, was suspended so we’ve moved him around a bit and he’s been fantastic.

“He’s enjoyed the opportunity of playing in different positions, which is really, really refreshing.”

West Brom came from behind to avoid defeat for the third match in a row and Pulis said: “That shows great character, which is paramount to everything that I would want from my team. To have that character and resilience is very, very important.”

Pulis felt his side created enough chances to win the match and picked out a late opportunity for Jonas Olsson, which was stopped by Hugo Lloris.

“It’s a wonderful save but for me it’s a penalty,” he said. “I think the lad’s actually taken Jonas, he goes back and [Eric Dier] has kicked his standing foot.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game today against a very fit and well organised team so we’re really, really pleased in that way but we’re a bit disappointed that we’ve not got the three points.”

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