Football

Clean sheet pleases Pulis

Despite matching biggest win during his tenure, Baggies boss more happy with keeping Burnley goalless

WEST BROM 4
(Matt Phillips 4, James Morrison 16, Darren Fletcher 37, Salomon Rondon 64)

BURNLEY 0

Tony Pulis may have seen his West Bromwich Albion side equal their biggest win of his reign with a 4-0 success over Burnley yesterday morning (Singapore time), but it was the clean sheet he took extra delight in.

The Baggies blitzed the Clarets with three first-half goals before going on to match the scoreline they beat West Ham United by last February through goals from Matt Phillips, James Morrison, Darren Fletcher and Salomon Rondon.

"I'm really pleased with the clean sheet as well," Pulis said after seeing his side move up to ninth in the Premier League.

"Of course, the four goals are what the supporters and everyone watching wants, but it's really nice to have a solid base from which to build on."

Pulis dedicated the win to the supporters who opted for a cold, rainy Hawthorns over the comfort of their living rooms. Thanks to reduced ticket prices, just over 23,000 fans turned up on for the televised clash and most of the empty seats were in the away end.

"It's a great result, to score four goals," added Pulis.

"It's been a dreadful day (with the weather) and I thank the supporters for coming because they could have easily sat in and watched it on TV.

"So they deserve a lot of credit."

SOLID: West Brom's Gareth McAuley (right) and Craig Dawson (below) dealt with everything Ashley Barnes (centre) and his Burnley teammates threw at them. PHOTO: REUTERS

Rondon added that the Baggies played perfectly, telling Sky Sports: "We were perfect tonight...

"I needed to score. Tonight is special and I'm very happy."

Baggies captain and fellow scorer Fletcher praised the Venezuelan, calling him a top-class striker.

He told Sky Sports: "(Rondon is) probably the focal point of everything we do.

TOP-CLASS STRIKER

"He's having a fantastic season - he's big, strong, powerful and causes a lot of problems... I think he's a top-class striker."

Meanwhile, Sean Dyche's 50th Premier League match as Burnley boss was one to remember for all the wrong reasons and he admitted his team were second best throughout.

"It was a really below-par performance and you can't afford to do that at this level," said Dyche. "It's happened once before this season at Southampton.

"Our home performances this season have been good but away from home we've not been as good and you can't play like we did tonight against good sides because you get punished.

"Credit to West Brom, they did that well and we played into their hands, despite me as a manager and us as a coaching staff telling the players that is what West Brom would do."

- Wire Services.

There are times when he works and doesn't get much service but he's always willing to work for the team. I think he's a top-class striker. He's made for the Premier League.

—West Brom captain Darren Fletcher on Salomon Rondon

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