West Brom boss Pulis defends under-fire James McClean

West Bromwich Albion's James McClean in action during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
West Bromwich Albion's James McClean in action during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
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JAMES McClean has once again come under fire as he continued his stance to refuse to wear a Remembrance Day Poppy on his shirt last Saturday.

The former Derry City winger was the only player not to wear an embroidered poppy when West Bromwich Albion played Leicester City last weekend and he was booed by sections of the ‘away’ support.

The Creggan man has revealed this year was no different – because the Poppy represents “all the conflicts that Britain has been involved in.

“If the Poppy was simply about the World War I and II victims alone, I would wear it without a problem.

“I’d wear it every day of the year if that was the thing, but it doesn’t – it stands for all the conflicts that Britain has been involved in.

“Because of the history of where I come from in Derry, I cannot wear something that represents that.”

And West Brom manager Tony Pulis defended his player’s right to refuse to wear the Poppy – saying it “doesn’t make him a bad person.”

Going to get Stick

In fact, he warned McClean to expect stick wherever he goes in the Premier League.

“We accept in this country that we all have different views and we can all live together with different views,” maintained Pulis.

“James has got a strong belief and that’s fine.

“Do I agree with it? Do you agree with it? We’ve got our own opinions.

“But that’s the way James is and it doesn’t make him a bad person.

“James has been through it before. If he wants to [wear a Poppy], fine. If he doesn’t [want to], he doesn’t.”

James is going to get stick, he knows that,” said Pulis. “It’s part of his life in the Premier League.”

The winger’s workman-like efforts up and down the left flank have enamoured him to Albion fans and McClean put in another solid performance on Saturday as he continues to build a strong partnership with full-back Chris Brunt.

“The supporters have taken to him and they like him here and he’s done well again,” said Pulis.