Head coach ready for task ahead
QUALITY time with his grandchildren and a trip to the battlefields of the Great War kept Tony Pulis ticking over before accepting what he has described as his 'biggest challenge' in football.
The newly-appointed head coach spent some two hours addressing TV, radio and written media in the Richardson Suite on Thursday.
The former Crystal Palace and Stoke City boss is looking forward to getting his teeth into the challenges ahead.
Pulis spent several months out of the game following his departure from Selhurst Park.
Had he found his few months in between jobs difficult? Pulis answered: "No. It has been lovely spending time with my two grandchildren Grace and Luca, a wonderful experience.
"I've done loads of things, I went to France with two old blokes - they'll love me for saying that! - my old neighbours in Ferndown, Rodney who is 82 and the other is 75.
"We did all the battlefields. We looked at where they played the Christmas truce game in 1914 and went to places I thought I'd never see.
"I've been to America twice, Malaysia - the Premier League is so big over there - I have been to Europe to watch games, such as Austria v Russia.
"I've done a lot of TV and media work and my wife's delighted I will now be out of the house.
"I can't say I haven't missed it."
Asked whether it was his biggest challenge, Pulis replied: “Oh yes, because it’s such a short period and this has been going on at West Brom for a while now.
“This hasn’t just happened, it hasn’t just fallen off, this has been going on for a while – since Roy Hodgson left it’s dropped off a bit.
“So there’s a lot of work to be done and you have to give the chairman a lot of credit because he understands now that that is the situation.
“I was told that stat today about the number of games that were won in 2014 [at home], which is pretty drastic in lots of respects, so we have to try and get that moving because your home form is going to be vital.
"We have to get everybody behind us. I talk about the support and I've been very, very fortunate obviously that, at Stoke the support was wonderful there, Palace the support was wonderful there.
"And I've been to this ground. Every game that we play at The Hawthorns between now and the end of the season should be treated like a cup final, and they have to buy into that. But the players have to do it on the pitch.”
Pulis made his checks before joining Albion, speaking to a series of people previously employed by the club.
“This is a new page of a new book, I hope it’s as interesting as everything else in my life," he added.
“I’ve spoken to Gary Megson, Alan Irvine on the day he left, Roy Hodgson, Dan Ashworth, Loads of people who’ve worked here.
“I know the chairman has spoken to loads of people about me too because you do your homework.
“This is a very good club, if you can get it going, and on the right footing, you can have a good time here."