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Pulis feared for players' safety

7 March 2015

Albion head coach unhappy with stewarding

TONY Pulis blamed poor stewarding for the Villa Park pitch invasion, which he felt put players' safety at risk.

Home supporters entered the pitch in the closing stages of Villa's 2-0 victory over Albion.

Although no Albion players appeared to be hurt, both sets of players were clearly shaken by the pitch invasion.

Pulis said: "It was the quarter-final of the FA Cup, a local derby, a full house. They should know it could get tasty. 

"The Villa hierarchy should have realised what might happen. To see the supporters coming on with three or four minutes to go - and they were congregating anyway - puts players in danger.

"We saw that in the 70s and 80s. We don't want to be seeing that.

"I'm sure the FA will look at it without me poking my nose in too much. 

"Thankfully, all of my players looked ok.

"There have been lots of derbies in the Premier League. Most of the grounds are well stewarded but this was a disappointing and I'm sure Villa will be disappointed too."

Speaking about the outcome, Pulis was particularly unhappy with Anthony Taylor's decision to give Claudio Yacob a second yellow card for a challenge on Leandro Bacuna.

It means Yacob will miss the next two games - the usual one match ban, plus an extra game due to his dismissal at Chelsea.

"Hutton should have been sent off in the week," added Pulis. 

"He didn't and gets the cross in that Foster spills.

"And today wasn't a sending off. It's two poor decisions.

"I don't know what Jack Grealish got sent off for either. I didn't realise hed been booked. I was dumbfounded by that one.

"Yacob had three touches before the ref blew up. Initially I though the linesman had said something but Anthony told me it was his decision."

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