- Premier League
Pulis explains why he blanked Hughes
Tony Pulis has confirmed he did not shake Mark Hughes' hand at full-time of Fulham's 2-0 win over Stoke due to a prior incident between the pair earlier in the season.
Hughes' gesture was ignored at full-time by Pulis, something the 47-year-old believed was a reaction to how he had conducted himself at the end of the Carling Cup third round tie between Stoke and Fulham in September.
"He is probably getting his own back, because I did a similar thing last time in the League Cup because I was a little bit aggrieved one of his players (Andy Wilkinson) had taken out Moussa Dembele when it was unnecessary," Hughes said.
Pulis confirmed that to be the case.
"He has done it when we played in the League Cup and now I have done it back," Pulis said. "It's two Welshmen with a bit of competition. I certainly won't lose any sleep over it and I'm sure he won't."
Fulham were victorious thanks to a brace from Chris Baird, and Hughes agreed with the suggestion that the result was a monkey off the back with regard to Fulham's away record. The Cottagers had not won an away league game in 26 previous attempts, and he was delighted to see his players bounce back from their Boxing Day defeat against West Ham, after which speculation had grown that he could soon be facing the axe.
"This week it seems to have been me, next week it will be someone else - that is the nature of the job and we all accept it," Hughes said. "It is not nice when that focus lands at your doorstep, but I know I have a good group of players that, given the rub of the green and when they play as well as they did today, will have no problems this season."
Asked if he had sought assurances about his future from the Fulham board, Hughes said: "No, not at all. I don't feel I need to. I have got great support from [chief executive] Alistair MacKintosh and I spoke to the chairman [Mohamed Al Fayed] last night, who is very supportive.
"They understand where we are and what we need, and the reasons why we find ourselves in the bottom half. We will look to address them, but in the meantime, the guys I have got playing for me are doing their best, and today was excellent."
Stoke had two penalty appeals for handball turned down in the second half, although Pulis seemed more concerned with a tackle Brede Hangeland made on Rory Delap.
"The one situation that did disappoint me was the incident with Hangeland and Rory," said Pulis. "It is a poor challenge and for the referee not to give a free-kick when he is standing two yards away from it was desperately disappointing. He might not book him, but he didn't even give a free-kick and he has really caught Rory. I don't know about the penalties, I haven't seen them again yet."
Fulham captain Danny Murphy mentioned Stoke specifically when talking about dangerous tackling earlier in the season, which prompted an angry rebuttal from Pulis at the time. Murphy was booed by Potters fans whenever he touched the ball, but Pulis would not be drawn on the matter any further.
"What Danny Murphy said, he said. We are all entitled to our opinion - I have said my bit, Danny has said his and we move on."