Tony Pulis: West Brom boss 'disgusted' at Stoke over Ryan Shawcross claims

West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis
Tony Pulis has been in charge of West Brom since January 2015

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has angrily denied calling Stoke's Ryan Shawcross "a loser".

On Friday, Potters manager Mark Hughes said the defender received a voicemail from Pulis two days after Stoke's 1-0 loss at West Brom on 4 February.

Before that game, it emerged Saido Berahino, who moved from West Brom to Stoke, had served a two-month ban, with Stoke blaming the Baggies for the leak.

"It has been spun in a horrible way," said Pulis on Saturday.

What is the background?

Pulis managed Stoke for 10 years during two spells between 2002-05 and 2006-13, with Shawcross a vital member of the team and captain for several years.

Stoke reached the FA Cup final in 2011 under Pulis and played in the Europa League the following season.

However, relations between Pulis' former side and his current team have been strained since comments before and after their Premier League match earlier this month.

Striker Berahino joined Stoke on 20 January in a £12m deal, and it was later revealed he served a suspension before leaving West Brom, for a "Football Association disciplinary matter".

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Mark Hughes & Tony Pulis discuss Saido Berahino's ban

Shawcross had said: "Someone from West Brom's side must have been speaking to the papers."

Speaking after the Baggies' 2-2 draw at West Ham, Pulis said: "I don't usually respond to bait and things like that, but I'm really disgusted that a few days before we played Stoke, the innuendos were coming out about Berahino, West Brom and myself.

"I took them from the Championship to the Premier League. I took them to an FA Cup final and to Europe.

"Do you think I'm going to criticise that area and those people? It's absolutely disgraceful whoever has put that out."

What did Hughes say?

In a news conference on Friday, Hughes said: "I was annoyed with their manager ringing up Ryan on the Monday morning after the game and calling him a loser. I wasn't too happy with that."

On the message left for Shawcross, Hughes added: "There was a voicemail left, and I haven't heard it. But Ryan wasn't too pleased. He tried to ring back and didn't get any answer."

How did Pulis respond?

Pulis said he had contacted Shawcross but dismissed claims he had called the player a "loser".

"Firstly, the phone call I made to Ryan is private," added Pulis. "And then, yes, I did mention losers, but I said about people with innuendos making allegations that weren't true.

"I did use the word loser but I meant it in that way and I actually said, 'Ryan, you've never been that'."

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Referee got decisions right - Pulis

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