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Pulis arrival endorsed by Big Dave

6 January 2015

Moore gives the lowdown on new Albion head coach

SO, Tony Pulis: the coach, the manager, the man - what's he like?

What can Albion players expect during the coming period?

Current Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster isn't the only Baggies man to have previously played under Tony Pulis.

Back in 2000, Darren Moore, then captain of Portsmouth, was part of the Pompey side managed by the future Albion head coach.

And Moore, now Albion's Professional Development Phase Coach, has fond memories of Pulis' nine-month spell at Fratton Park. caught up with 'Big Dave' to get the full lowdown on Pulis.

Q. Darren, what are your memories of him from your time together at Portsmouth?
A. I have good memories. He came in at a time when there was a lot of upheaval. He came in, steadied the ship, but he also gave us a philosophy. It was a good time for us. We were a club where we'd had a big turnover of staff but Tony settled us as a club. He brought some organisation and was a joy to work with. I was team captain down there and we worked well.

Q. What we were you fiirst impressions at that time?
A. He replaced Alan Ball and was there for about 11 months before Steve Claridge took over. But he made a big impression. He instilled discipline and also a togetherness which is exactly what we needed. He made it clear straight away that he was boss. He wanted an honest, hard working culture around the club. And he got that.

Q. What was he like on the training ground?
A. Meticulous, detailed, clear in terms of instructions. His long track record as a manager speaks for itself. As a group of players and staff he is one that West Bromwich Albion will benefit from

Q. What was your reaction when you heard the news that he was coming to work for Albion?
A. I was pleased. As an employee I want to see this football club moving on. I know him, I know what he will bring and the dynamics he will introduce. The players will work hard and I'm sure we will see the Tony Pulis qualities shine through.

Q. Success at Stoke, manager-of-the-year at Crystal Palace. His career has evolved since you first worked with him?
A. Yes and in a good way. His record is one of achievement and success. And he will have got that through dedication to the game. He is a 'student' of the game in many respects, always looking to learn new methods. When I was doing my Pro Licence course, he was there to present us with awards on the night of our graduation. I think we all learned a lot from him that night. His record has been exceptional and we looked up to someone like that - you can only learn from someone like that and that is exactly what I'm looking forward to. I want to learn those exceptional, important details that can transform a defeat to a draw and a draw to a win.

Q. He didn't hang around on Saturday - I think he spent 15 minutes in the director's box before going down to the technical area. Presumably that didn't surprise you?
A. Definitely not. He kicks every ball, heads every ball. I'd have thought he couldn't wait to get down there and be that extra pair of eyes by the pitch. He would have wanted to see and control of the shape of the team, the tempo, the intensity, the system. A directors' box is not where I expect to see him. He's a leader. And that is exactly why I expect him being the voice at the side of the pitch.

Q. Finally Darren - going back to your Pro Licence graduation, what did he say to you?
A. He told as a group that he was encouraged to see the next cohort of coaches coming through. There was a genuine pride that he was there. He was full of encouragement but he was honest - there is no quick formula. You need to learn your trade, learn, learn, learn and keep your mind open to that.There is no fast-track in this job. But if you're determined you can do it. Everyone left the room feeling very encouraged and confident following his speech to us.

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