Saido Berahino: Tony Pulis says West Brom striker lacks mentors

Tony Pulis (left) and Saido Berahino (right)
West Brom striker Saido Berahino has scored six goals during Tony Pulis' time at the club

West Brom manager Tony Pulis believes striker Saido Berahino is lacking the right influences in his life to make the best decisions about his career.

Pulis was unhappy with an interview the 21-year-old gave this week expressing his wish to move on to "bigger things".

He was dropped to the bench but came on in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Burnley.

"He is a top player. The problem is he lost his father at an early age and has not had many mentors who can put him on the straight and narrow," said Pulis.

"That happens a lot today. A lot of kids get misguided advice. There is a lot of money thrown around in football and these kids can provide a lot of money to a lot of people."

Pulis bemoans 'Sunday stroll' start

Last month Berahino was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £3,400 after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

Pulis hopes new signing Darren Fletcher can be a positive influence for Berahino, who has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season and was called up to the full England squad earlier in the campaign.

Fletcher joined Albion from Manchester United on Monday and was given the captain's armband for his debut at Turf Moor, which saw the Baggies come back from two goals down to claim a point thanks to headed goals from previous skipper Chris Brunt and substitute Brown Ideye.

"Brunty is happy to give Darren the captaincy and concentrate on his football," said Pulis, whose team are three points and three places above the relegation zone.

"I felt Darren was what we needed in the dressing room. We needed a leader and he has been wonderful."

The West Brom boss said Burnley "deserved to be 2-0 up" after his side made a slow start.

"We started as though it was a Sunday morning stroll," he said. "Half of them looked as though they were still in bed. The saving grace was the goal just before half-time.

"As soon as I came through the door I knew how hard this one was going to be. The big thing today was not to lose. It is one defeat in six since I came to the football club."

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