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We’ve brought in all these rules to protect people. Well, I think the boy needs protection

Pulis calls on referees to protect Adama

Boro boss Tony Pulis has urged referees to protect Adama Traore as he attempts to fire the club back into the Premier League.

The mercurial 22-year-old winger will line up against former club Aston Villa at the Riverside Stadium in the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday evening with Pulis calling for those who attempt to target him illegally to suffer the consequences.

Pulis, who will field an unchanged team, said:

“Adama needs protection in both games, without a question of a doubt.”

“He’s been so good in the games leading up to it and we have found early on that he has been targeted.”

“There have been free-kicks given against him and because it’s early in the game, people haven’t been dealt with the way they should have been dealt with, and that is disappointing.”

“We’ve brought in all these rules to protect people. Well, I think the boy needs protection at times.”

Bobby Madley will take charge at the Riverside and Mike Dean when the sides meet again at Villa Park on Tuesday evening.

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