FOOTBALL: James McClean is ‘living on the edge’ - says West Brom boss

MAN ON THE EDGE . . .  West Brom manager, Tony Pulis says James McClean must learn to control himself on the pitch.
MAN ON THE EDGE . . . West Brom manager, Tony Pulis says James McClean must learn to control himself on the pitch.
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WEST BROM boss, Tony Pulis has warned James McClean must learn to ‘control himself’ on the pitch and claims the Derry man has been living on the edge this season.

The 27 year-old Republic of Ireland winger was at the centre of an on field bust-up involving Watford’s Roberto Pereyra last weekend which resulted in a red card for the Argentine midfielder while McClean picked up a booking for his part in the unsavoury incident.

McClean apparently kicked the ball at Pereyra while he lay on the ground following a challenge from West Brom’s Rondon on the halfway line. Pereyra was then sent off for retaliating and was handed a one match ban for violent conduct while McClean escaped unpunished.

It was McClean’s sixth yellow card of the season and the incident led to FA charges for both West Brom and Watford for misconduct and failing to control their players.

The disciplinary action prompted Baggies boss, Pulis to warn that McClean must control his passion on the pitch.

“I think James has got to control himself and he understands that,” said Pulis. “Sometimes he does live on the edge but that’s the player he is and the person he is.”

Pulis doesn’t want to curb the former Derry City winger’s enthusiasm but says there is a line he doesn’t need to cross.

“He’s a fantastic lad and he’s competitive - and you want him to be - but he’s got to realise there is a line that you draw and sometimes he goes very close to that line.

“Does it take stuff away from him? It might do, I’m not sure,” added the Baggies supremo. “But I’ve spoken to him quite a few times about getting too close to that line.

“As I keep saying, he’s a fantastic lad and a good lad around the place. The perception of him outside the club is different to what people inside the club who know him well think.”

I think James has got to control himself and he understands that. Sometimes he does live on the edge but that’s the player he is and the person he is.

Tony Pulis