Tony Pulis: West Brom set to appoint former Stoke manager

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport
Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis guided Crystal Palace to Premier League safety last season before leaving that role in August

Tony Pulis is set to be named West Brom head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal to succeed the sacked Alan Irvine.

The 56-year-old former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager is likely to be confirmed in the position on Thursday.

It is hoped he will be in the stands at Upton Park for West Brom's New Year's Day Premier League visit to West Ham.

There are still some details to be decided, but the deal to make Pulis the club's fourth head coach in a year is expected to proceed without a problem.

Tony Pulis management history
1992-1994: Bournemouth
1995-1999: Gillingham
July 1999-January 2000: Bristol City
January 2000-October 2000: Portsmouth
2002-2005: Stoke
2005-2006: Plymouth
2006-2013: Stoke
November 2013-August 2014: Crystal Palace

West Brom will retain their continental structure - in which the head coach works to technical director Terry Burton and sporting director Richard Garlick, who in turn report to chairman Jeremy Peace.

But Pulis has been assured he will have full control of all first-team matters, including the buying and selling of players. Pulis worked in a similar set-up at Stoke where John Rudge was sporting director.

The Welshman will meet Peace for the first time on Thursday, and will bring in Dave Kemp - part of his coaching team at Palace and Stoke - as his assistant, but decisions are still to be made on the rest of the coaching staff.

All negotiations so far have been handled by Pulis's lawyer and his agent, who are both trusted long-term representatives.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates worked with Pulis during the manager's second spell at the club and believes West Brom have made a good decision.

Coates told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think they're making a very good appointment. He's a man who will keep them in the Premier League, which is why, I'm sure, they made the change.

"He's very focused, very driven and very determined. He has got a very good football brain - he's always trying to improve, he's very ambitious - he's not easy to please but I guess you'd say that about a lot of managers. He can look after himself."

Also speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, former Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham said man-management was one of Pulis's key strengths.

Higginbotham said: "You can't treat them all the same and that's why he gets the best out of players and he certainly did that at Stoke, especially the first season in the Premier League.

"He's a manager that looks at players and doesn't ask them to do things they can't do. He puts that winning mentality into them as well."

Albion are 16th in the Premier League, a point above the relegation zone, following Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Stoke.

Irvine was placed on gardening leave on Tuesday after winning just four of his 19 league games in charge.

Top Stories