West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has urged winger James McClean to be careful and not react to volatile situations, after his celebrations after last weekend’s win over Sunderland landed him in hot water.
The ex-Sunderland man gestured in front of the visiting fans at The Hawthorns after the 1-0 victory – prompting angry reactions from former team-mates Lee Cattermole and Danny Graham.
Derry-born McClean has previously been subjected to criticism for failing to wear a Remembrance Day poppy during his time at Sunderland and turning away from the British national anthem during a pre-season friendly for West Brom.
While Pulis has no qualms with the Republic of Ireland international’s stance, he urged the player not to react in future, having avoided possible action from the Football Association (FA).
“[I have] no problems at all, it’s not what I personally believe but if that’s what James believes then that’s what he believes,” explained the West Brom boss.
“I’ve had a chat with him, you’ve got to be careful what you do today, he was taking stick all game and he saluted our supporters and on that side the Sunderland supporters were there.
“Doing that to the Sunderland supporters – he’s just got to be careful. He was delighted that we’d won, it was against his old club, which gives it a bit of added spice but you’ve got to be cool and hold yourself back at times and James has to do that.
“He’s a good lad, he’s integrated fantastically well within the group he’s just got to be careful.
“I just think it was a celebration because we won the game. If you look at it, his first celebration was to our supporters.
“The Sunderland supporters had been giving him a load of stick all afternoon. He shouldn’t react but the FA have been sensible in what they’ve done.”