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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

West Brom sack manager Tony Pulis after dismal run of 11 games without a win

'These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club," chairman John Williams said on West Brom's official website

Tony Pulis has overseen an 11-game winless run that resulted in him being sacked as West Bromwich Albion manager. Peter Nicholls / Reuters
Tony Pulis has overseen an 11-game winless run that resulted in him being sacked as West Bromwich Albion manager. Peter Nicholls / Reuters

Tony Pulis became the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job this season after the Welshman was given his marching orders by West Bromwich Albion on Monday.

A miserable run of form saw Albion win just two of their past 21 Premier League matches spanning last season and this. An 11-game winless run this term has left West Brom hovering precariously above the relegation places.

The final straw for the club's Chinese owners was Saturday's 4-0 defeat at home to Chelsea, with a restless Hawthorns crowd chanting "Pulis out" at the final whistle.

"These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club," chairman John Williams said on West Brom's official website.

"We are in a results business and over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing.

"We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony's contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours."

Pulis' assistant, Gary Megson, will take charge of first-team affairs until further notice, the club said.

Owner Guochuan Lai watched the Chelsea defeat after flying over from China for a pre-arranged trip and is now tasked with finding a new manager, with Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, former Sunderland and England manager Sam Allardyce and Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes linked to the post.

Pulis, 59, replaced Alan Irvine when West Brom were in the same position as he now leaves them - a point above the relegation zone in January 2015, eventually leading them to 13th.

They finished 14th in 2015/16 and came 10th last season but failed to win any of their final nine matches with the team accused of taking their foot off the gas after Premier League survival was secured.

Pulis made a defence of his record before the Chelsea defeat, suggesting Albion would struggle to get a better replacement.

"If I left tomorrow I'd put my record on the table and put it in front of anybody and see what they think of what I've done here in three years," he said on Friday.

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Pulis, who boasts a proud record of never being relegated as a manager, has previously been in charge at Crystal Palace and had two stints at Stoke City, where he reached the FA Cup final and qualified for Europe during his second spell at the club.

The number of top-flight sackings was already at a five-season high even before the Welshman's exit, with four up to November 20 compared with the next highest mark of three by the same stage in the 2015/16 season.

The others to have lost their jobs so far are Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace), Craig Shakespeare (Leicester City), Ronald Koeman (Everton) and Slaven Bilic (West Ham United).