How Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis gained advice from Newcastle United's Rafa Benitez and Burnley's Sean Dyche

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis met up with two Premier League managers earlier this week to pick their brains on the 'relentless' Championship schedule.

By Joe Nicholson
Saturday, 02 March, 2019, 11:22
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis caught up with Burnley's Sean Dyche on Tuesday night.

The Boro boss spoke to Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and Burnley's Sean Dyche following United's 2-0 win over the Clarets at St James' Park on Tuesday night.

Both Benitez and Dyche have recently won promotion from England's second tier, a feat Pulis is hoping to replicate with Boro this campaign.

Pulis was working as a pundit for BBC Five Live during the Premier League clash and hung around after the game to catch up with the two managers.

“I met him in a corridor after the game on Tuesday,” said Pulis on Benitez, who led the Magpies to the Championship title in 2017.

“He found out I was going and invited me to his room after the game but I didn’t want to do that because immediately after the game Sean Dyche would be in there and I didn’t want to cut across that.

“After a game the two manager usually get together but you don’t want three in there. That’s too much.

Pulis also caught up with Dyche who guided Burnley to the top-flight in 2016, when the Clarets pipped Boro to the Championship trophy.

“Rafa finished his press conference at 10.30 and I waited for him outside for him," added Pulis.

“And when I was talking to him Sean came in too. His is another friend. He rings me up from time to time too. We had a kiss and a cuddle and the three of us talked for 20 minutes.

“Those two are good football people, it’s nice to be around those people. They know what you go through, the stress.

“They are both younger than me and I was thinking where the time has gone.”

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When he joined Boro at the end of 2017, Pulis hadn't managed in the Championship since winning promotion with Stoke in 2008.

The Boro boss has often voiced his concern that there are too many games in the second tier, with the standard of football rising all the time.

Despite winning the division two years ago, Benitez also found it difficult to adapt to the relentless nature of the Championship.

“He said he remembered exactly how relentless the Championship was,” said Pulis on the Newcastle boss.

“He said he was worn out at the end of it. He said it is a relentless division and you have to be level-headed and sensible.

“You can’t let your emotions go up and down with results otherwise they’ll lock you up. You’ll get taken away by the men in white coats.”

Pulis has a lot of respect for Benitez, who he's known since the Spaniard's time at Liverpool between 2004 and 2010.

“I’ve known Rafa a lot of years,” added Pulis. “When he left Liverpool, he rang me up and had two days with me.

“He wanted to see how we did stuff at Stoke. He is a wonderful man, a great football thinker and very good manager.

“He is Newcastle’s biggest asset without a doubt. And you can print that.

“He is a great football man, a clever man, and he knows how to win with what he has got."