'Perhaps he doesn't like shaking hands' - Hughes bemused by Pulis snub

By Ben Spratt 4 February 2017
'Perhaps he doesn't like shaking hands' - Hughes bemused by Pulis snub

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes spoke of his bemusement after Tony Pulis did not shake his hand at the end of West Brom's nervy 1-0 Premier League win on Saturday.

Amid a raucous atmosphere, heightened by the return of former West Brom forward Saido Berahino, the two managers disagreed on a number of incidents throughout the game as James Morrison scored the only goal.

However, Hughes expected the issues to be put behind them after the match - but could not find ex-Stoke boss Pulis.

"I didn't see [Pulis] to shake his hand," Hughes told a post-match news conference. "I was on the touchline for quite some time. He didn't shake my hand before the game either.

"I would have thought, being a guest of the club, he would have welcomed me to the club. Perhaps he doesn't like shaking hands? I have no idea.

"With most managers, you have moments of disagreements during games but, most of the time, you have a beer afterwards and forget about it."

Pulis, though, brushed off talk of a rift with Hughes, claiming any snub was unintentional.

"I shook hands with Eddie [Niedzwiecki, Stoke coach]," he said. "Mark was walking away towards their supporters - so that was that."

Meanwhile, Hughes added that he was not surprised by the hostile reception Berahino received from the home crowd, and clarified that West Brom were not to blame for leaked details of a suspension served by the player while at The Hawthorns.

Berahino appeared after both Hughes and Pulis confirmed before the match that he had fulfilled an eight-week ban at West Brom, amid reports he tested positive for a recreational substance.

"[Berahino] knew the reception he would get," Hughes said. "He didn't have too much of an effect and that was about our inability to pick the right pass.

"We weren't told by West Brom, in fairness, about [the ban]. There was some talk that West Brom had made us fully aware - they didn't, but we knew the situation they were in. We knew at some point it would come out.

"[The reports are] probably a disappointment for West Brom, too, because clearly they were able to keep the situation under wraps for seven months then it comes out two days before a game against his new club."

However, Pulis was keen to focus on his side's performance, insisting Berahino is no longer of interest to West Brom.

"It was a big game for us because [Stoke] are very close in the table," he said. "If you look at the squad, they are a top-10 side. It was a really good result for us.

"I thought we played really well. The worst thing about the first half was the half-time whistle. They had two chances, but I can't remember too much more. We're really pleased because it's against a club with a lot of decent players.

"I'm not interested in Saido. I'm more concerned about my players and how well we played."

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Ben Spratt

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