–Says Nigerian forward is like a new signing
West Brom manager Tony Pulis hailed the transformation of Brown Ideye after the striker scored a double in their 4-0 victory over West Ham in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Pulis guided his side to a convincing victory as goals from James Morrison, Saido Berainho and Ideye – who was a target for Qatari club Al Gharafa in January – sealed the win.
Yet the Baggies boss reserved special praise for Ideye, who initially struggled after making a club-record £10 million switch from Dynamo Kyiv but has put aside a return of two goals in his first 17 games to net four in just six days.
“People say he was so close to leaving but the facts are there was no deal agreed,” Pulis told reporters.
“Even if Carlton [Cole] were to come in from West Ham, we’ve got three strikers, so Carlton coming in would have made the fourth so it would have had to have been a real special offer for us to have let Brown go.
“People ask me what the difference is – its confidence. He’s scored a goal, got the weight off his shoulders, and he’s just gone from strength to strength played really well and we’re delighted.
“It’s like a new signing.”
West Brom have not won the FA Cup for 47 years yet Pulis, who guided his own Stoke City side to the final of the competition in 2011, is targetting further progress now that they have reached the last 16.
He continued: “I like the FA Cup. I think it’s a fantastic competition and I like playing in the competitions.
“I think this is now the fifth quarter-final that I’ve been in […] I’ve been to a semi-final and a final so, if we can add to that and get another semi-final, I’d be absolutely delighted. We’ve got to be lucky with the draw.”