Tony Pulis has revealed his sadness and admiration regarding James McClean’s heroics against Wales on Monday.
Newport-born Pulis joked that McClean would not be playing for him after the winger scored Ireland’s winner to end Wales’ hopes of qualifying for the World Cup earlier this week.
McClean has arguably been Ireland’s best player during qualification despite being in and out of the West Brom side.
“I just ignored him walking down the corridor. He said ‘morning’ with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen in my life,” Pulis said, as reported in the Irish Independent.
“He won’t be playing for me for what he’s done for Wales! It was a great goal and great technique on his right foot. Obviously it was a goal that killed off our hopes and aspirations.
“There’s a bit of banter going around and the manager taking a bit of stick as you can imagine. James has most probably done better for Ireland than he has for us but that sometimes happens.
“I think we paid £500,000 for him and I don’t think anyone would say James has been anything but brilliant. Hopefully Ireland qualify, fingers crossed, but they have got to get through the qualifying game.”
Hal Robson-Kanu is a teammate of McClean’s and started for the Welsh and Monday. Boaz Myhill, another Welshman at the Hawthorns, retired from international duty in 2013 and there is no doubt that the pair will be hurting this week.
The Baggies will take on Leicester City this weekend with McClean, Robson-Kanu and Pulis hoping to put Monday’s result behind them in the search of three points.
Pulis himself could be in the running for the Wales job should Chris Coleman decide to step away from the post.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena