With Everton set to host West Brom in the Premier League on Monday, Roberto Martinez is wary of the effect Tony Pulis has had on the visitors since taking over from Alan Irvine.
Pulis was appointed on New Year’s Day, and was in the stands for the 1-1 draw at West Ham that same day.
Since then, West Brom have thumped non-League Gateshead 7-0 in the FA Cup third round, and last weekend saw them earn a crucial three points with a 1-0 success over fellow strugglers Hull City.
West Brom are now just one point behind Everton and, as they look to continue that recent good run at Goodison Park, Martinez has paid tribute to his opposite number.
“We all know Tony has got terrific experience, he has been successful in various environments, and what he’s achieved is quite exceptional,” the Spaniard said.
“He’s started in the best possible way with a very important home win. We expect a tough game. They are a really well organised team, knowing how to score goals and as a team we will have to be at our best if we want to get a victory.
“We have got nine games at home remaining, we want to be perfect in the remaining games.
“Tony Pulis has been working with them for 10 days and I thought their draw at Upton Park was very good, you could see signs of the way Tony Pulis wants them to play.
“Against Hull City you saw a big difference, they were well organised and well drilled, [so] I think slowly we are going to see a little change.
“Obviously the personnel is the same, they are a team who can mix things up well, they have good footballers and an outstanding goalscorer [Saido Berahino] upfront.”
Everton are on a poor run of form, with just one point from their last five league outings leaving them 12th in the table, but Pulis believes they are a better side than recent results suggest.
“They’ve got some great players Everton, they’re in a false position and I think for the manager to be under pressure, especially Roberto who did fantastically well last season, just shows what this league is about,” he said.
“But the great thing about Everton is that they have a wonderful, loyal chairman so Roberto won’t feel under any pressure.
“We’ve done different things, I think they [the players] have enjoyed it so far, it’s been different to what they are used to. They worked very hard against Hull and it was a great result for us. It’s been a really good start.”
Pulis has no new injury worries for the trip to Merseyside, with defender Jonas Olsson (Achilles) still out.
Everton, meanwhile, will be without Aiden McGeady through suspension, while Tony Hibbert (knock) and Sylvain Distin (groin) are being monitored.
James McCarthy (hamstring), Steven Pienaar (knee), Leon Osman (ankle), Darron Gibson (knee), and Tim Howard (calf) all remain unavailable.
For more sports news visit allSports.com.gh
This article has 0 comment, leave your comment.