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Fletcher can be Saido mentor: Pulis


Saido Berahino started on the bench against Burnley

Saido Berahino started on the bench against Burnley

Saido Berahino started on the bench against Burnley

Saido Berahino lacks the right influences in his life to make the best decisions for his career, according to Tony Pulis.

The West Brom boss was unhappy with an interview Berahino gave this week expressing his wish to move on to bigger things and the striker found himself on the bench for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Burnley.

Pulis insisted it was for football reasons, but Berahino played all but the first 18 minutes of the 2-2 draw anyway after Victor Anichebe was forced off with a groin injury.

It is far from the first time Berahino has found himself the subject of unwanted headlines and there have been reports West Brom are willing to cash in on their biggest asset in the summer.

Pulis said: " I felt he could do with a little bit of a rest with two massive games at home coming up.

"Victor had done okay in the games we played previously. Unfortunately Victor felt his groin before the game. He wanted to play. After 15 minutes you could tell he was struggling and Saido came on and showed his attitude.

"Saido is a top player. The problem is he lost his father at an early age and he has not had many mentors or people who can put him on the straight and narrow.

"That happens a lot today. A lot of kids today get misguided advice. There is a lot of money thrown around in football and these kids can provide a lot of money to a lot of people."

Pulis hopes new signing Darren Fletcher can be a guiding hand for 21-year-old Berahino, who was called up to the full England squad earlier this season.

Fletcher arrived from Manchester United on Monday and was made captain for his first game, taking the armband from Chris Brunt.

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"Brunty is happy to give Darren the captaincy and concentrate on his football," said Pulis. " I felt Darren was what we needed in the dressing room. We needed a leader and he has been wonderful."

Burnley were full value for the two-goal lead given to them by Ashley Barnes and Danny Ings, but a header from Brunt just before half-time changed the game.

Substitute Brown Ideye then equalised from another corner in the 67th minute to ensure West Brom stayed two points ahead of one of their fellow relegation battlers.

Pulis said: "We started as though it was a Sunday morning stroll. Half of them looked as though they were still in bed. They deserved to be 2-0 up. The saving grace was the goal just before half-time.

"As soon as I came through the door I knew how hard this one was going to be. The big thing today was not to lose. It is one defeat in six since I came to the football club."

Burnley have let two-goal leads slip in three of their last four games, although at least they held on to a point this time, which was enough to lift them back out of the bottom three.

Manager Sean Dyche felt the second goal should have been disallowed for a foul on David Jones and also argued Burnley deserved a late penalty for a handball by Gareth McAuley.

"I thought beyond two set-pieces we were excellent," said Dyche. "First half I thought we were outstanding, the quality of our play, the progressive nature of our play.

"The second (goal) was a disappointment, there is a foul on Jonah and he (Ideye) gets a free header. But t he way we responded to the second goal to try and get the third was excellent."

Dyche praised Ings' performance, with the striker also setting up Barnes for the opener.

The 22-year-old had been substituted against Sunderland last weekend amid intense speculation about his future, but stayed true to his word that he would see out the season at Burnley.

Dyche said: "I thought he was excellent, his movement, his endeavour, his effervescence and a fine finish. Barnesy was excellent along with him.

"I told the truth last week. The amount of media pressure on a young man can take a toll and I think it did last week but his response was excellent."

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