James McClean warned by West Brom boss Tony Pulis to tone down anti-British behaviour

McClean was pictured with his back to the Union Flag as 'God Save The Queen' played during a pre-season friendly in the US

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The Independent Online

West Bromwich manager Tony Pulis has warned James McClean over his behaviour after the winger appeared to turn his back on the British national anthem.

The midfielder, who also opts against wear a remembrance poppy as it would "be a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles", drew a strong reaction on social media for the gesture - he was branded "scum" and told to go "back to Ireland" if he hated England so much after turning his back ahead of West Brom's match against the Charelston Battery (around 3min 25sec on the below video).

The 26-year-old was spoken to by Pulis after the game and warned over his future conduct - he has reportedly agreed to tone down overtly anti-British gestures.

As well as the reaction on social media, McClean also faced calls to leave England from Northern Irish Democratic Ulster Unionist MP Gregory Campbell.

"He should reconsider who his paymasters are or move elsewhere so there isn't a problem," Mr Campbell told the Belfast Telegraph

"He needs to keep his head down and play football, but what he shouldn't do while earning money from the UK is set himself up as a controversial pseudo-political figure, which is what he's doing."

McClean, who only joined the Baggies a month ago, took to Twitter with a brief response, posting a link to a Europsort article title 'In Defence of James McClean.

He said: "I don't need to say anything or will I either".

McClean opened the scoring as West Brom beat the Richmond Kickers 2-1 in their second pre-season game, Brown Ideye scoring a late winner.