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Albion to stop Carroll hitting the right note.

HE might be the forgotten man in British football, but Tony Pulis believes West Ham's Andy Carroll remains a serious threat.

Pulis will attempt to nullify the powerful former Liverpool striker when West Brom meet Slaven Bilic's West Ham tomorrow.

And although the PS15 million forward has scored only one goal in eight games, in yet another season hampered by injury, Pulis still considers the England international as a danger man.

"Slaven has got lots of options to make changes or keep the same team," Pulis said. "They've got good quality wide and if Andy Carroll is fit and up and running.

"People class him as being one-dimensional, I think he's a very good player.

"He's got two very good feet, he can bring others in to play, he's intelligent.

"I really do rate him. I think he's a top player.

"Play him the right way he'll definitely score lots of goals, and not just from his head."

Pulis and Bilic are good friends, having worked together as TV pundits.

And Bilic, a former West Ham player, is a firm admirer of his counterpart's integrity.

"Tony Pulis gets criticised for his brand of football, but he doesn't hide it, like others," the Croat said. "There are a lot of clubs playing exactly the same way in many parts of the game.

"In England, they all sit back when opponents have a direct attacking style.

"He is a great coach and a very honest man.

"I have been a TV pundit with him and he called me a few times when I was at Besiktas to ask about players in Turkey.

"He is very passionate and understands football in many different leagues across Europe. I respect him also because he never tells lies, even though you can bend the truth in football when the result allows you to."

Pulis is regularly dismissed as a cautious coach who relies too heavily on defending deep and scoring through set-plays.

Yet Bilic feels that assessment is lazy and believes the Baggies boss has been unfairly pigeon-holed.

"When critics put a label on you, it sticks even if your teams are not like that week in, week out," said Bilic.

"I watched Albion against Everton in September when they lost 3-2 at home.

"They were winning 2-0 and scored the second goal after 54 minutes. They played good football which was enjoyable to watch. They weren't 2-0 up because of set-pieces alone or negative tactics."

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Andy Carroll is highly rated by Baggies boss Tony Pulis

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 28, 2015
Words:422
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