McAuley backs Pulis amid fan discontent

West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley reminds fans of the importance of stability, and that they should be careful what they wish for

West Brom defender Gareth McAuley has reminded Baggies fans that they should be careful what they wish for when calling for manager Tony Pulis to leave the Hawthorns.

Tony Pulis has one year remaining on his contract, and he has come under fire from fans for his perceived negative brand of football, a style of play that whilst bearing the fruit of Premier League survival, has left a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of the Baggies faithful.

Goals have certainly been hard to come by for Premier League sides in the West Midlands, with West Brom second only to Aston Villa in front of goal. In fact, the Baggies have played more matches than scored goals – with a return of 33 from 37 matches.

But McAuley, speaking to The Mirror after his side’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth, has urged caution on demands for change,  recalling bad memories of the dangers of chopping and changing with Leicester City, and has sought to warn disgruntled fans away from believing change is a guaranteed panacea.

“The grass is not always greener. Back in the day, when I was at Leicester, we had four managers in a season and went down – things were crazy back then.

“You think it might give you a lift when a new manager comes in but that is not always the case.

“It is difficult to say if any of that has affected the clubs that have done it. But we are in a good place and solid in the Premier League. It is a very important thing for the club that we are still in the top flight. There is a massive amount of pressure on the players to deliver that for various reasons.

“It is important we do that first and foremost and there are teams down there fighting for their lives and it is nice not to be part of that.”

McAuley’s side drew with Bournemouth on Saturday, taking the lead through Salomon Rondon, his eighth of the season, before Matt Richie snatched a point with eight minutes to go.

The result leaves West Brom still searching for their first win for over two months, totalling eight league games, when they beat Manchester United by a single goal to nil. They haven’t won on the road since mid-February

Tony Pulis is expected to discuss his future with Chairman Jeremy Peace at the end of the season, and with managers of the calibre of Brendan Rodgers rumoured to be a possible replacement, there is by no means a guarantee that he will be offered a contract extension.

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