herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Mcclean 'not the sharpest tool in box'

James McClean
James McClean

West Bromwich Albion's James McClean has been described by his own manager as "not the sharpest tool in the box" after he triggered a pitch melee following his side's 1-0 home win against Sunderland.

The Ireland midfielder, who played for Sunderland between 2011 and 2013, had been a target for the visiting fans throughout the match.

McClean, who comes from a nationalist area of Derry, drew criticism from Pulis before the season started for not respecting the British national anthem before a friendly match in the United States.

He previously caused a stir at Sunderland in 2012 when he refused to wear a poppy on his shirt ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Media reports said McClean ran to the Sunderland fans after the final whistle and pumped his fists at them, with Sunderland players then shoving the midfielder and triggering a melee between both sides.

Manager Tony Pulis said he had not seen the incident.

"I'd heard a roar or whatever and didn't know whether the players were involved in something," he said.

"If he's out of order, I'll speak to him. He played really well today, James. He's settled in really well and is a smashing lad. The lads have really taken to him.

"He's not the sharpest tool in the box, and that's not being disrespectful to him. But he's a smashing lad."

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