09:46 10th September 2013
Clarke full of praise for Baggies striker as he makes it two in two
SAIDO Berahino made it two goals in as many England Under-21s starts as he conjured up a crucial equaliser in last night’s Euro 2015 qualifier with Finland.
The Baggies Academy product struck in the 67th minute in Tampere to cancel out the hosts’ half-time lead.
He played the full 90 minutes and it followed his match-winning strike on his debut for Gareth Southgate’s Young Lions in Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Moldova.
And Steve Clarke has highlighted Berahino as a shining example to his peers at The Hawthorns.
“He’s getting his rewards, so I’m absolutely delighted for him,” said the Albion boss.
“It’s good that we’re talking about one of the products from the club’s academy. You have to show your young players and your academy graduates that there is a path to the first team.
“If you close that path the boys lose impetus and their desire to get to the first team. It’s always important if you can and when you can to give them a chance.
“Sometimes it’s difficult because it’s a results-driven industry and you have to make sure you get the balance right between showing that path and making sure you win the matches.
“But it’s great for people like Mark Harrison (Academy manager) and Jimmy Shan (Lead development coach) in the academy that they and all the other coaches can see that, if the boys are there, we will give them a chance.”
England Under-21s are in action again next month, when they travel to face San Marino on Thursday, October 10 before returning home and to take on Lithuania at Portman Road five days later.
New signing Stephane Sessegnon played no part in Benin's World Cup qualifying 2-0 win over Rwanda on Sunday, while Youssouf Mulumbu got 90 minutes under his belt in DR Congo's 2-1 defeat by Togo.