Pulis hoping for mood swing after Middlesbrough win

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.
Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis.
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Middlesbrough striker Britt Assombalonga earned manager Tony Pulis a dramatic 3-2 win on his return to West Brom with a late double at The Hawthorns.

Assombalonga drew Boro level with a 75th-minute equaliser - 10 minutes after being sent on by Pulis - before grabbing the winner seven minutes from time.

Pulis, who was sacked by Albion in November 2017, got the perfect start when George Saville’s third goal of the season gave Middlesbrough a 17th-minute lead.

But Pulis, who was barracked throughout the game by the Albion fans, saw his side pegged back when Jay Rodriguez grabbed a 42nd-minute equaliser with his 16th goal of the season.

Albion then took the lead when Dwight Gayle netted before Assombalonga’s late double turned the game in stunning style.

Pulis hopes that beating Albion will lift the mood at Boro, who are firmly in the play-off positions, after the transfer window shut.

He said: “It has been negativity because we have not brought anyone in. I think everyone was expecting us to be bring in one or two (new signings in the window).

“So it was a real negativity around the place and that is what I went over to the supporters after the game as the way they were today was fantastic and it was a thank you to them.

“There has been a lot of negativity, ‘the club are not having a go, they are not trying to get promoted.’ Well they have seen a group of players give everything. What we have to do now is improve our home form as that has been disappointing to say the least.”

West Brom: Johnstone, Holgate, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Harper, Barry (Livermore 78), Field (Brunt 83), Robson-Kanu (Murphy 74), Rodriguez, Gayle. Unused substitutes: Bartley, Montero, Bond, Adarabioyo.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Flint, Fry (Assombalonga 65), Friend, Wing, Mikel (van La Parra 75), Besic (Howson 54), Saville, Hugill. Unused substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Clayton, McNair, Downing.

Referee: T Robinson (West Sussex).