The new man in charge of Middlesbrough is using the first few games to assess the big squad he has at his disposal, rather than making any rash decisions on players.
Speaking to the official Boro website, mfc.co.uk, after his first game in charge of the Teeside outfit against Villa on Saturday, Tony Pulis admitted he needed to trim the group.
“There are too many players here and I need to assess the group,” said the recently appointed boss. “What people need to realise is that Steve [Gibson – chairman] spent a lot of money here in the summer and out of respect for him, I have to be prudent with what I do, look at things and not make rash decisions and that is what I will do and if it takes a bit of time, it takes a bit of time.
“I don't like big squads. I think there are more players outside the 11 than there are in and therefore you get players who are not happy that they are not involved; so I hope to cut the squad and have a smaller group.
“I would like to bring players over from the Academy as well and at the moment if we do a ten v ten there are professionals who can't be involved at the moment.”
Pulis is managing in the second tier for the first time since taking Stoke City to the Premier League, but he remembers one thing that hasn’t changed, which is the need to play at the top of your game every week.
“It is ten years since I was in the Championship and the one thing that you have got to do and the one thing I have remembered about it, is that you have to turn up every game, because every game is going to be a tough game,” he continued.
“I can't remember having an easy game when we got promoted at Stoke and I can't remember watching any game in the Championship when it was like that.
“The lads have told me that we haven't won against any of the top teams in the league this year, so that is not a good sign.
“I'll probably make a few more changes, because I want to watch more of the players. I have had a look at this group and it is such a big group of players, so I have to assess it, look at it and then move on.”