Club News

Irvine sets Berahino challenge

Berahino tipped to keep going

SAIDO Berahino has been challenged to maintain his sparkling form for club and country.

The Albion striker has been in excellent shape so far this season, netting six times for his Baggies and three for the England Under-21s.

Gareth Southgate's side have now qualified for next summer's European Under-21 Championships.

Albion head coach Alan Irvine has been pleased with Berahino's progress and expects him to maintain his development.

And such is Berahino's desire to improve that he has stayed back for extra training following the daily sessions.

Irvine admitted that he had even had to rein in Berahino - to ensure he would be in tip-top condition for Monday's visit of Manchester United.

"He does extra training every day," said Irvine. 

"Wednesday was one of the few days he didn't because we actually sent him off - he was chased off the pitch! 

"I'm sure, otherwise, he would have been on there with a bag of balls!

"But the most important person in all of that is definitely himself, he is in control of how he goes about things.

"I am sure he has learned from different things he has done in the past, he will have learned from different people.

"He is certainly a lad who is doing everything you would want him to do at this particular time. That's something that's in his control.

"And it's him that decides to stay out after training every day, whether he is going to eat the right foods or the wrong foods, whether he is going to get enough rest. 

"Like any player nowadays he knows how he should do things to get the most benefit on and off the pitch. 

"They are his choices so the person who deserves the most credit for the way he is going at the moment, is himself."

Irvine hopes the 21-year-old can maintain his form over a longer period.

"He's flying at the moment," he added. 

"He's feeling good about himself and in a great place. 

"For England to go and win as comfortably as they did was credit to him and the team. 

"He now has a chance to play in the Finals and that will be good for him. 

"If he keeps going the way he is he will gather momentum.

"Saido is going in the right direction for us and for England.

"I'm delighted with what he does here, Gareth is delighted with what he is doing for Under-21s and if he keeps looking after himself he will keep developing.

"It would be great for his experience to go to the Championships next summer and I am sure he will come back a better player."