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Tony Pulis’s presence boosts West Brom in gutsy draw at West Ham

Marvel at the Tony Pulis effect. Although the presence of the Premier League’s leading troubleshooter in the stands at Upton Park was not quite enough to lift his new side to an unlikely victory over West Ham United, this was an encouraging first step in the right direction for West Bromwich Albion, who took heart from a display that belied their status as relegation candidates. On this evidence, they can be hopeful of staying up with a degree of comfort.

It was a mark of how well Albion coped that the final whistle was greeted by a smattering of boos from the home fans, a harsh reaction when this result is placed into the context of what West Ham have achieved so far this season. There was a leggy feel to West Ham at the end of an energy-sapping run of games and there were complaints about them sending a few too many long balls in the direction of the ineffective Andy Carroll for the crowd’s liking.

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