West Bromwich Albion F.C. captain Darren Fletcher has spoken with Saido Berahino to help the striker return to the first-team following his deadline day threat to strike after a move to Tottenham Hotspur was blocked.
Having been left out of the Baggies’ previous three matches, Berahino returned to the fold as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s goal-less with Southampton.
The former England Under-21 international has yet to open his account in 2015/16 after tallying 20 goals and four assists in 45 appearances in all competitions for West Brom last term.
“I have had a word to him and we’ll keep that private and the lads have given him a bit of stick,” Fletcher said.
“Sometimes that’s the best way because it takes away the tension. Somebody comes in and has a little bit of a go at him and a little bit of banter and I’m sure he feels like one of the lads again, which he very much is.
“I think a couple of the older lads have maybe tried to help him but there has not been anyone having a go.
“All you can do is do your best and speak to him. He might not take on board everything you say but if he only takes on board a little bit and it makes him stop and think for a little bit then I’ve done my job.”
Fletcher added: “You try to speak to him and tell him a certain way to do things but it’s about emotions really.
“People are emotional and you do silly things and when you’re on Twitter it is there and you can voice your opinions.
“If he had sat quietly for 48 hours he wouldn’t have done it, but it’s just emotions at the time.”
McMillan ban upheld
Former Partick Thistle F.C. defender Jordan McMillan has been banned from all sport for two years after failing an in-competition drug test.
McMillan, 26, tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a carboxylic acid of cocaine, after a Scottish Premier League match against Celtic on 3 December 2014.
The 26-year-old defender was initially banned for two years by the National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) on April 21, 2015.
Although McMillan appealed that ruling, the original decision has been upheld. Accordingly, McMillan is banned from all sport from 18 December 2014 to 17 December 2016.
“UKAD’s role is to protect the integrity and spirit of sport, and athletes, at all levels, need to understand the importance of Strict Liability,” UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead said.
“They are solely responsible for any banned substance that is found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether there was an intention to cheat or not.
“The principle of Strict Liability can be challenging for athletes. They have to ensure that they understand the anti-doping rules and that their family, friends, coaches and athlete support personnel understand them too. They need to be aware of the risks their career faces if they test positive, and ensure they manage that risk at all times.”