PEPE Mel was delighted his gamble to hand youngster Saido Berahino his first start in eight games in today’s crucial Hawthorns encounter with West Ham paid off.
The 20-year-old striker was given the task of leading Albion’s attack in place of the benched Matej Vydra.
And the Baggies Academy graduate delivered when it mattered most with his solitary strike of the game sealing three precious points.
Albion now sit in 15th place, five points clear of the drop zone, with three matches remaining, and a game in hand on some of their rivals.
“Yesterday I spoke at great length with Berahino and he knew he was going to play today,” said Mel.
“I think he is a player with an awful lot of talent and a great future ahead of him.
“The only thing he needed was to work and think about the team.
“Today he has done this and therefore I am extremely happy.
“I am extremely satisfied also because it was a personal gamble.
“I believed this game was made for him and I’m glad it came off.”