Sunday 15 September 2019

Saido Berahino wants to continue taking penalties despite missing his last four

Saido Berahino has gone 32 games without scoring
Saido Berahino has gone 32 games without scoring

Stoke striker Saido Berahino will not shy away from taking another penalty, despite missing four in a row since he last scored a goal.

The 24-year-old had a great opportunity to end his long goalless drought when he won a first-half penalty against Southampton on Saturday only to see Fraser Forster keep his effort out.

It is now 32 games without netting for Berahino, a run that dates back to his West Brom days, and the barren spell has included a quartet of spot-kick failures.

He had two saved in one game for the Baggies against Watford in April 2016, fired wide in a League Cup shoot-out against Northampton the following season and was then denied by Forster on Saturday.

The Potters did not have a designated penalty taker on the field and Berahino revealed he had risked Xherdan Shaqiri's wrath by stepping up to the plate.

"Of course I would have taken another one but I don't want to be greedy," Berahino said.

"I know Shaqiri wanted to kill me over that one; I had to fight Shaqiri to take that one.

"I got to take that one because I was the one who was fouled so he allowed me to take it, b ut it is what it is."

Three seasons ago Berahino scored 20 goals in a campaign for West Brom and was called up to the England squad.

Now he just wants to open his account for a Stoke side that in January rescued him from a situation that had soured at The Hawthorns.

"I'd be lying if I said it hadn't been frustrating for me," Berahino admitted.

"But the most important thing is the manager (Mark Hughes) has still got belief in me and the players know what I'm about and they see it every day in training.

"When the floodlights come on I want that first goal and I'd be happy to score. I'm not going to beat myself up about it too much but I believe I'm focused out there on the pitch.

"Strikers live by their goals, that's what we're paid for. I've been brought here to score goals and I believe I can do that."

On Saturday Berahino had won his penalty off Virgil van Dijk, who was otherwise brilliant on his first start since January.

A foot injury ended his season prematurely then but his absence in the early games of this campaign was due to the reintegration process that followed his failure to force through a summer move away from Southampton.

Saints ignored Liverpool's attempts to land Van Dijk and captain Steven Davis knows how big an asset the Dutchman will remain to his team now the window is closed.

"We all know what he's done here in previous seasons and I'm delighted we've kept hold of him," Davis said.

"It hasn't affected the squad but it's a difficult situation for the individual to deal with.

"There was obviously a lot going on. The transfer window can be a difficult place at times mentally.

"But it's good he's come out of the other side of it. He's back in training, full of energy and has a desire to get back into the team and play his part."

PA Media

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