Saturday, August 19, 2017

The squad is just not strong enough – Pulis seeks reinforcements despite opening-day win

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Aug 2017

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Tony Pulis underlined his desire to bring further fresh faces to The Hawthorns despite West Brom’s opening 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Ahmed Hegazi, a loan signing from Al Ahly, scored the only goal with a header just after the half-hour mark as the Baggies celebrated Pulis signing a one-year contract extension with the perfect start to their Premier League campaign.

But Pulis remains far from satisfied with his squad depth, as he expressed his desperate need to secure further reinforcements before the transfer window shuts on August 31.

“They work hard, but we need to get some players in and quickly. I think the supporters and everybody around the football club wants to see that,” he said, in quotes reported by BBC Sport.

“They have to be players that will improve us and we have to work hard over the next two weeks.

“The squad is just not strong enough. We have 17 senior professionals and we are at the top age as well, so it just needs restructuring and everybody is aware of it. The next few weeks are really vital.

“Jay Rodriguez has been fantastic during pre-season. He has brought a lot of energy to the football club. He looks as though he is going to score every time he gets the ball.

“Ahmed Hegazi looks like a really, really good buy. And you have got to give credit to Matt Phillips and Chris Brunt; the quality coming into the box was fantastic.”

His opposite number Eddie Howe, meanwhile, lamented the visitors’ inability to cope with the familiar threat of West Brom’s set-piece prowess.

“I am disappointed. It is unlike us to have so much possession and to not create chances – that is the most disappointing thing,” he said.

“The build-up to the goal was very disappointing. We gave away a needless free-kick, and against West Brom that is a dangerous thing.

“We have had enough football in pre-season to be ready. I thought we were ready. The pitch was slow, and that is not an excuse.

“I expected us to have the possession that we did but I thought we would have been more creative with it. There is obviously stuff for us to work on.”

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