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Leagues: EPL

Pulis says adaptability key as 1,000th game looms


London (AFP) – Tony Pulis will celebrate his 1,000th game as a manager when he takes West Bromwich Albion to former club Stoke City on Saturday.

The 58-year-old said on Thursday that “moving with the times” has been the key to his longevity in a career spanning two decades, during which the “film star footballer” has emerged.

“Everything has changed, life has changed,” said Pulis.

“I think football is a reflection on life and society and you have to move with the times. I’ve moved with the times, I’ve had to. 

“People are different now to how they were 20 years ago, that’s for sure, and there are different priorities.

“There are lots of good things that have happened but there are also things that 20 years ago I wouldn’t change even now. 

“There are things I’ve kept in place in my management and my repertoire and I want those things to stay in place.

“Discipline and respect and hard work are not bad words. I expect that from everybody — especially the players who are in fortunate and very lucky positions. 

“Players live a different life. They’ve been blessed. They live in a bubble and they live in a world where they get everything really. They’ve become film stars.”

He added: “But you have to change with it. Players are different to manage now, I wouldn’t say they are more difficult to manage.” 

Pulis will reach the landmark at Stoke, now managed by Mark Hughes, where he took charge of 464 of his 999 matches to date.

“(The milestone) dropping like that, at a club where I had a wonderful time, is amazing really. I have a lot of respect for (Stoke chairman) Peter (Coates) and his family and the football club.

“I’ll go there and I’ll enjoy it. I’ll be nervous before, as I always am, and I’ll be nervous during the game but I’ll have a glass of wine after it.

“It’ll be a tough game because they’ve got some good players and we will have to go there and play well.”

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