Sport Soccer

Thursday 26 April 2018

Tony Pulis: West Brom players have cleared the air with Saido Berahino

Saido Berahino, left, has been reintegrated into the West Brom squad by boss Tony Pulis
Saido Berahino, left, has been reintegrated into the West Brom squad by boss Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis has revealed his West Brom squad have cleared the air with Saido Berahino.

The Baggies boss insists the striker's team-mates have aired their views and put the saga to bed following Berahino's strike threat.

Berahino has returned to the side after threatening never to play for the club again when they rejected two transfer deadline day bids from Tottenham.

The 22-year-old, who had a transfer request rejected in August, could even start in the Midlands derby at Aston Villa on Saturday after making his comeback as a substitute in last week's 0-0 draw with Southampton.

And during a squad meeting ahead of the Saints game, Pulis revealed the players spoke about Berahino's situation but have drawn a line under it.

He said: "There was a meeting with Saido. I think the players have had full rein, it's not like I've stopped them talking to Saido or pulled him to one side and put him in the corner.

"It wasn't a meeting just about Saido, it was a meeting where Saido was in with the players where things got mentioned.

"It's not a case of backing him, they know he's a good player. We've had a meeting and it's exactly the same as I've told you, young people make mistakes. He is very young and very impressionable and I'm sure if he could have done it again he would have done it differently.

"The important thing is to get the kid back to what he was before the window opened."

Villa boss Tim Sherwood expects Berahino to start and wants to keep up the pressure on the England Under-21 striker.

He said: "I'm pretty convinced Saido Berahino will play. I'm not sure how high up the pitch Berahino will play but I do see him starting.

"If he's got any doubters there, any critics in the West Brom ranks, it might be a good opportunity to dispel them. We're just hoping to increase the pressure on him."

Berahino is likely to face Joleon Lescott, with the defender joining Villa from Albion on deadline day after just one year at The Hawthorns, and Pulis insisted there were no issues between the pair despite his exit.

Pulis said: "All I can say is that he was wonderful here, I enjoyed working with him and I wish him all the best.

"There are players who have left the club who you'd love to keep and others when you don't think it's too bad. Time will tell."

Press Association

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