Tony Pulis reveals why he won't pester Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson for money

Tony Pulis says he won't go asking chairman Steve Gibson for money this month as he continues to assess his Middlesbrough squad.

Saturday, 13th January 2018, 6:49 am
Tony Pulis.

The former West Brom and Stoke City manager is still in the early throes of his Boro reign, having taken over just before Christmas after Garry Monk’s sacking.

With Boro having spent big money in the summer, including a £15million swoop for striker Britt Assombalonga, Pulis is aware he will be expected to work largely with the squad he’s inherited.

And with a large squad at his disposal, the Welshman says he’s still assessing the players ahead of this weekend’s game against Fulham.

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“I’m still learning what we’ve got, and what we haven’t in the group,” he said.

“I haven’t got a real firm grip on the club yet, and that takes time.

“We were supposed to have a (Under-23s) game up at Newcastle which we’d have gone up and watched, but it was called off.

“We had a practice match to watch some of the players we haven’t seen yet.

“That‘s been the situation over the Christmas period – there have been senior players we still haven’t seen in the first team, and assessed what they can bring to the group.”

What Pulis has identified, however, is an imbalance in the squad. And he’s already vowed to cut the number of players in the first-team set-up.

“There’s definitely an overbalance in certain areas and weaknesses in others,” he added.

“As I’ve said before, I don’t want to come in and keep asking Steve [Gibson] for money and money and money. You don’t want to be rash with people.

“I want to work my way through it if I possibly can. The important thing is getting the best out of the players with respect to their qualities and strengths within the structure of the team.”

Pulis has spent the week on the training ground trying to get his philosophy and ideas over to the players before they host Fulham (3pm).

“We’ve got one or two knocks and niggles,” he added.

“There are one or two who might be on the bench, and we might take a chance with them off the bench.

“Whoever we play, hopefully they’ll understand what we’re trying to achieve.”