Saturday 20 January 2018

Pulis: Saido can earn England call

West Brom's Saido Berahino could earn another England call-up next month
West Brom's Saido Berahino could earn another England call-up next month

West Brom head coach Tony Pulis insists Saido Berahino will earn an England recall if he deserves one.

The Baggies boss believes Berahino is more of a team player as they continue to scrap for Barclays Premier League survival.

Albion host Southampton on Saturday with the 16-goal striker aiming to win a place in the England squad for next month's Euro 2016 qualifier with Lithuania and a friendly in Italy.

Berahino is a minor doubt for the Saints game - along with James Morrison - after taking a knock in the 0-0 draw at Sunderland.

He has already won an England call-up this season, for November's games against Slovenia and Scotland, but failed to play and after eight goals in his last 10 games Pulis reckons Berahino will earn his place in the next squad on merit.

He said: "Roy Hodgson picks the England team and the England squad and if he thinks that it is right to play him, brilliant. If he doesn't I won't go against Roy's view.

"But we have been really pleased with his form. I'm more concerned about Saido scoring goals for West Bromwich Albion.

"Last week at Sunderland wasn't a great performance but you have to look at his running stats and what he did for the team off the ball.

"He's got that in his mind now that even if he is not in possession of the ball, we need him to be in certain areas at certain times.

"That enables us to keep the team nice and compact and solid."

The Baggies have lost just once since Pulis took over almost two months ago and have kept six clean sheets in his nine games.

Last week's draw at the Stadium of Light kept them five points clear of the bottom three but Pulis insists Albion's job is only half done.

"It's very important you focus on every game, it's not about a points tally at the moment," he said.

"We have to get as many points as we can.

"We have 12 games to go and there are eight or nine clubs fighting to stay in the Premier League. I hope to God we stay up but we're still in a dogfight.

"I won't be saying anything until we have achieved what would be a great success for us."

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