Pulis takes criticism from Baggies fans on the chin as Boro win at his old club

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis shrugged off coming under fire from West Brom’s fans during his side’s thrilling 3-2 Sky Bet Championship win at his former club.

Ex-Baggies boss Pulis was making his first return to the Hawthorns since being sacked in November 2017.

But he had the last laugh as substitute Britt Assombalonga scored twice in the final 15 minutes to seal a stunning triumph for Boro.

Pulis had been heading for defeat after Albion cancelled out George Saville’s opener to take a 2-1 lead following strikes from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle.

He said: “Supporters have to do what they have to do.

“I met a group of supporters last night who were very complimentary and this morning. So there will be people who like you and people who don’t.

“That is life. Supporters pay their money and they (Albion) wanted to move on and do things differently.

“That was fine by me. I had a great time here. I have great memories. I think we beat all the top teams.

“There are a lot of good things for me to look back on and take the positives from and that is what I will do.”

Pulis hopes that beating Albion will lift the mood at Middlesbrough, who are firmly in the play-off positions, after the transfer window shut.

He added: “It has been negativity because we have not brought anyone in. I think everyone was expecting us to be bring in one or two (new signings in the window).

“So it was a real negativity around the place and that is what I went over to the supporters after the game as the way they were today was fantastic and it was a thank you to them.

“There has been a lot of negativity, ‘the club are not having a go, they are not trying to get promoted.’

“Well they have seen a group of players give everything. What we have to do now is improve our home form as that has been disappointing to say the least.”

Albion manager Darren Moore hopes that his side will learn from their defeat as they slipped to only their second league loss in 13 games against one of their promotion rivals.

Moore said: “We learn from the mistakes in the game. Like I said to the boys it is how we respond from here going forward.

“There will be little bumps in the road but it is really, really important that we learn from it and we get better at it.

“Yes, it was a frustrating afternoon but you have to remember that teams will not come here and play open football against the Albion.

“Teams will come here and get men behind the ball. We have seen it time and time again.

“As a home team it is a hurdle that you have to try and overcome.

“I felt we took the game to them but Middlesbrough were resolute as well and you have to give them credit. They stayed in the game and they got their just rewards in the end.”

Moore did not feel the fact Pulis was back at the club had any bearing on the game, adding: “That had no contributing factor.

“I had a chat with Tony before the game and we wish each other well for the rest of the season. We both know there is a long, long way to go.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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