Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has claimed that the appointment of Alan Pardew was the decision which cost West Brom their place in the Premier League last season.
On Friday, Pulis will face his old team for the first time since he was was sacked from the managerial position at the Hawthorns in November 2017, with the Baggies sitting precariously in 17th place.
Pardew was appointed as his successor but won just one league match before he was replaced by Darren Moore, who staged a late-season revival but was unable to prevent relegation.
Pulis says that the time was right for him to leave, but believes that his assistant manager Gary Megson should have been appointed in his stead, rather than Pardew.
"No, not at all," Pulis told the Telegraph when asked if he resented his sacking. "I think it was the right time, looking back, for the club and the right time for me. I thought Gary would have been ideal. He took over for two games, went to Tottenham and drew at Wembley, drew with Newcastle. It was strange they changed and got Alan in.
"Alan is a friend of mine and I’m not having a go at him, but that club was well set up for Gary to take over because he knew the players. No matter what anyone says, I still think that squad was good enough to stay up in the Premier League.
"By getting a different manager in, and no disrespect to Alan, who had different ways of doing things, it disrupted things. Instead of coming out of the rut, it spoilt things."
In the space of six games, Moore won as many matches as Pulis and Pardew combined in the previous 32, but it was not enough to keep the Baggies afloat. Moore was appointed permanent manager in the summer and seems to be turning things around, with seven points from four games in the Championship so far.