West Brom manager Tony Pulis says Saido Berahino is not a “bad lad” but must focus on the team rather than individual matters.
Berahino was named among the substitutes for the eighth straight game for Monday’s 1-0 defeat of Newcastle United, before which Pulis claimed the England Under-21 international was “lucky to be on the bench”.
Reports have suggested the striker, the subject of four bids from Tottenham in the pre-season window, has had timekeeping issues but Pulis insists it is all part of the 22-year-old’s development.
He told a news conference on Thursday: “It’s got nothing to do with anybody apart from me and Saido.
“He’s trained well this week, he’s been in on time and he’s done everything that everyone else has done.
“He just lapses, it’s not because he’s a bad lad or anything. It’s just the way he is, it’s just him growing up and recognising it’s about the group, about the team, and the football club.
“That’s all done and dusted, we’ve moved on from that.”
Berahino impressed after replacing James Morrison with 20 minutes to go against Newcastle, Darren Fletcher heading home the only goal of the game eight minutes after his introduction.
And Pulis could hand him a starting role in Saturday’s clash with his former club Stoke City.
The Welshman said: “The kid came on and did really well for 30 minutes and he’s got a great chance of playing on Saturday.”
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