Saturday 14 December 2019

Irvine urges Berahino to kick on

Saido Berahino, pictured, should take the positives from his England call-up, said West Brom manager Alan Irvine
Saido Berahino, pictured, should take the positives from his England call-up, said West Brom manager Alan Irvine

West Brom boss Alan Irvine insists there is no point in Saido Berahino "sulking" about his recent England snub.

The in-form youngster was selected in Roy Hodgson's squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia and friendly against Scotland.

However, he ended up kicking his heels on the bench for both games rather than getting his senior debut, with tried-and-tested veteran Rickie Lambert even preferred as a late substitute at Celtic Park.

Irvine believes Berahino will still benefit from the experience and hopes the forward reacts positively to the disappointment.

"There's certainly no benefit to sulking," said the Baggies head coach.

"He has to look at the last two weeks as a great experience - one that helps him to become a better player. If that helps him to raise his game to another level, then fantastic.

"We will get the benefit of that and ultimately Saido will as well.

"It is vitally important he has learnt a lot in these last two weeks and that helps him make the progress he needs to continue to make.

"He knows he has a lot to do to continue to develop to become a regular at that level.

"I really hope this will give his season yet another boost."

Irvine has not had chance to gauge Berahino's mood since returning.

"I've not had time to have a chat with him yet," said the Scot.

"He came back really pleased to have been away and looking hungry to continue his development.

"He may be disappointed that he did not get on but it will certainly benefit him. No question.

"It is vital he learns from the experience and that all helps him become even better and get even more of a taste of England in the future."

Asked whether Berahino's call-up will help convince the player his international ambitions can be achieved at a so-called smaller club and ultimately keep him at The Hawthorns, Irvine said: "I am not sure if it strengthens it or not but it is certainly fantastic for the club and the lad.

"It is great for him to be recognised in this way, he needs to learn from the experience and become better.

"I cannot see any negatives at all about him going away and being a part of it - and that includes him not playing.

"He has had a couple of weeks of working with those players and living with those players and he would be missing an opportunity if he didn't take an awful lot from that."

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