Football: West Brom boss Pulis blasts Stoke for 'disgraceful' comments

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis shouting instructions during his team's EPL match against West Ham United on Feb 11, 2017.
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis shouting instructions during his team's EPL match against West Ham United on Feb 11, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has lashed out at his former English Premier League football club Stoke and labelled claims that he called their skipper Ryan Shawcross a "loser" as "absolutely disgraceful".

Stoke manager Mark Hughes said on Friday that his predecessor Pulis had called Shawcross a loser in a voice-mail message. The defender had accused West Brom of leaking news that their former striker Saido Berahino had served an eight-week ban for "an FA disciplinary matter".

Berahino moved from West Brom to Stoke last month. "It's absolutely disgraceful," Pulis told the British media.

"Firstly, the phone call I made to Ryan is private, and then, yes, I did mention losers, but I said about people with innuendos making allegations that weren't true.

"I did use the word loser but I meant it in that way and I actually said, 'Ryan, you've never been that'. I was there for 10 years," Pulis added.

"I took them from the Championship to the Premiership. I took them to an FA Cup final and to Europe.

"I don't usually respond to bait and things like that, but I am really, really disgusted that from a few days before we played Stoke, (about) the innuendos coming out about Berahino, West Brom and myself."

West Brom beat Stoke 1-0 last week, with visiting manager Hughes stoking further tension between the clubs by saying Pulis showed him a lack of respect by failing to offer a handshake after the match.

Pulis responded by saying Hughes had walked away from the dug-outs towards the visiting fans and he did not have a chance to offer the traditional post-match handshake.