MIDDLESBROUGH manager Tony Pulis, a lover of military history and someone who has professed respect for the likes of Napoleon and Winston Churchill, has never been one to shirk a challenge.
The current background noise is full of acrimony and dissent among disaffected sections of Boro supporters after seeing their side drop out of the play-off spots, but for Pulis it is a case of what does not kill you makes you stronger.
This said a change of luck would not go amiss ahead of a trip to the Liberty Stadium, which is every bit as important as Boro’s last one in April 2017 during their unsuccessful battle against relegation from the Premier League.
Pulis, whose side have lost their past five games by a single-goal margin, said: “It is Napoleon’s great saying that you prefer a lucky general than a good general at times and I need to turn into a lucky general and my players need to turn into lucky soldiers. And let’s get that result that turns it for us.”
On urging the virtues of resolve and togetherness among fans amid Boro’s rough six-match winless streak, he added: “It makes me laugh at times that in the first gust of strong wind it blows certain people away.
“The players in this dressing room have been fantastic this year. We have played some smashing football over the past five or six weeks and we have not had the results we deserved.
“The opportunities and chances we have missed have been beyond belief, in some ways.
“I had the analyst at West Brom speak to a member of my staff and he said they had just finished watching our first half (on Tuesday) and they could not believe we were not five-nil up with the chances we have had. That is another club saying it and not us.
“We must not be negative, but what we got to do is take those chances we are creating.”