West Brom boss Pulis reveals soft spot for Brighton, but bemoans international duty effect

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis on the sidelines on Saturday. Picture by PW Sporting Pics
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis on the sidelines on Saturday. Picture by PW Sporting Pics

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has revealed his soft spot for Brighton & Hove Albion, but also voiced his frustrations at the effect a busy international week had on his players.

The Seagulls secured their first-ever Premier League win on Saturday as a double from Pascal Gross and a header from Tomer Hemed gave them a 3-1 success over the Baggies.

Welshman Pulis was quick to praise the home side, but while stating he did not wish to make excuses, hinted that bumper travel miles for some of his star players while playing for their countries leading up to league clash had a telling effect.

On Albion, the former Crystal Palace and Stoke City manager said: "Full credit to them, they have got the three points. I like the club I think it's a great club and I think it's well run. I wish them all the best for the rest of the season.

"(It will take) plenty of hard work now. We have got good players in there and I thought (Gareth) Barry was outstanding, the best player on the pitch by a country mile. I thought we has absolutely superb.

"And we have other players who are international players, but we have really got to tie it all down and make sure we are bob on with the effort and commitment we put in. They looked a little bit tired and jaded some of them.

"Little things change games and it's not gone for us, it's gone from Brighton, but I do not want to be here making excuses and taking anything away from Brighton."

Pulis revealed he was only able to have one training session with his side before the game and highlighted Egyptian Ahmed Hegazi and Venezuelan Salomon Rondon as most effected by their travel miles.

He added: "The fact that some of them haven't been back (for long from international duty), the centre-half has played in Egypt and Uganda. The centre-forward has played in Argentina and Venezuela, quite a few of the others have been round the world a few times.

"The only training session we have had is Thursday. Then you get an away trip and it's difficult to get that spot that you need to win Premier League games.

"I think Rondon and Ahmed (Hegazi) traveling down to Uganda, up to Egypt and then home, this is different this league to anything else they have played in. The tempo and everything else and you have to be quick and spot on."