07:00 12th September 2013
And Clarke comments on potential loan moves for striker
STEVE Clarke has warned against putting too much pressure on Saido Berahino after the young striker’s explosive comeback from injury for club and country in the opening weeks of the season.
The 20-year-old hotshot’s 2012/13 campaign was cut short due to a knee problem in December during a successful Championship loan spell at Peterborough.
He has got off to a flying start this term thanks to a Capital One Cup hat-trick against Newport and two crucial goals in as many games for England Under-21s.
But, while Clarke insists he deserves to be around the Baggies first-team squad and he will not be going out on loan in the immediate future, he is keen to protect the youngster.
"We have to be careful with Saido, he's been out for seven months,” said the Albion chief.
“He came back and had a good pre-season.
"He had a great night in the Capital One Cup. He had two really good nights with the Under-21s, where he scored the winner and a late equaliser.
"He's in a great place. Now my job is to manage him and make sure that in six months he's still in a great place and can make contributions to whatever club he is at, whether we decide to keep him here or not.
"Whether we will allow him to go out too early or keep him here the injury might come back to haunt him - that's wrong.
"We have to manage him properly and that's what we get paid for.
"Hopefully me and the medical staff can make the right decisions for Saido and he goes on to have a great career in the game - hopefully for West Bromwich Albion."
Clarke added: "The emergency window is open until the end of November.
"I want to keep him around the squad, he deserves that for now as he's been good for us.
"I want to keep him involved and make sure physically he's okay.
"If in five or six weeks’ time he has not had enough football then we'd have a decision to make.
"But at the moment he's part of the squad.”