Monday 26 September 2016

Tony Pulis challenges Saido Berahino to earn England recall

Published 20/09/2015 | 10:30

Baggies boss Tony Pulis feels Saido Berahino has a
Baggies boss Tony Pulis feels Saido Berahino has a "special talent for scoring goals"

Boss Tony Pulis has challenged Saido Berahino to earn an England recall after his West Brom redemption.

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The striker scored his first goal of the season to clinch a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Saturday to complete his Baggies recovery.

He returned to the starting line-up for the first time since threatening to strike after Albion rejected two deadline day bids from Tottenham.

Berahino had been left out of three squads by Pulis during the transfer saga before making a second-half substitute appearance in last week's 0-0 draw with Southampton.

The England Under-21 international, who scored 20 goals last term, earned a call-up to Roy Hodgson's squad last year but is yet to make a senior appearance and Pulis believes he can bag a Three Lions return ahead of Euro 2016.

He said: "I don't see any reason why not. He's got that special talent for scoring goals and he's shown it again today, with his reaction. It's a clever goal, and he meant it.

"I think he's got to get back in our team first and do well before we start pushing him.

"We've got to support him and make sure we get him back to where he was at the end of last season when he was scoring goals."

But Pulis admitted another transfer battle could happen again in January after the Baggies rejected four bids from Tottenham and turned down a transfer request from Berahino over the summer.

He said: "Let's see how we go in the next 15 games. I don't know what's going to happen in January. What I do know is we've got him concentrating and level-headed again having lost him for six weeks."

Villa are still searching for their first home Barclays Premier League victory of the season and are winless in the league since the opening day.

They host rivals Birmingham in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday following two defeats to the Baggies and Leicester.

Villa were jeered off after a poor display where Carles Gil and Rudy Gestede missed their best chances.

But boss Tim Sherwood is eager for the chance to face Blues and end their derby woes following Saturday's loss.

He said: "I relish it, its an opportunity to send our fans home happy, they haven't felt that for a period of time now.

"I think anyone who knows me knows I'm at my strongest when I'm under pressure. Some go under and some come out fighting, I think you know the answer to which one I'll be.

"It's not all doom and gloom, we are making progress and we know it would take time.

"I scrutinise myself more than I do the players. You are a manager to make decisions and everyone can do this job in hindsight."

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