Tony Pulis had words with James McClean after the West Brom winger snubbed the British national anthem before Saturday’s friendly against Charleston Battery.
Republic of Ireland international McClean turned away from the flag of St George and bowed his head during a rendition of ‘God Save The Queen’ prior to Albion’s 2-1 victory in South Carolina.
The 26-year-old from Derry, who refused to wear a poppy on his kit during his time at Sunderland and Wigan Athletic, has come in for criticism for his actions and head coach Pulis has reminded his recent recruit of his responsibilities.
“I didn’t see the situation but I had a chat with him and explained what we do as a football club and the way we are and I think he’s fine with everything,” Pulis told the club’s official website.
“We’ve got Northern Ireland lads in the squad and he’s been absolutely fantastic with them, and the way he’s mixed and integrated with the group has been brilliant.
“I’ve seen the pictures and he’s got to turn towards the flag like everybody else has and he recognises that.
“He thought he was OK to close his eyes and put his head down in respect of both anthems.
“The trouble is he’s got to face the flag.”
Pulis is hoping McClean will now avoid further controversy as he settles into his new surroundings following his move from Wigan last month.
He added: “Obviously there has been a stigma around him and he doesn’t need to start that up again.
“So hopefully we’ve nipped it in the bud and we can get on with our things and he can get on with his things.”
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