Striker hopes to add to three-goal tally against Burnley today (ko 4pm)
SAIDO Berahino is loving life under Alan Irvine after reporting back for Albion in “the best shape of my life”.
The England Under-21 star is very much the man of the moment with three club goals, including an exquisite finish to win Wednesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Hull, to go with his growing collection of international success.
It continues the rise and rise of Albion’s most successful home-produced player of modern times, and the 21-year-old admits he has never been happier.
“One of my targets during the summer was to make sure I came back even fitter and it’s paid off because I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been," he said.
“I’ve managed a start in most of the games and I am focusing on simply doing my best, game by game. And that’s it.
“I’ve played under four gaffers now but I must say Alan has done a terrific job. We signed a lot of players in the summer and he has really done brilliantly to make as much progress as we have.
“I get on with him very well. In fact everybody does. He’s that type of guy. He’s got time for everyone and that’s what we need.
"I am certainly happier dealing with a man who talks to me; the more talking, the more you understand what they want from you on the pitch.”
Berahino particularly relishes the freedom his new boss has encouraged him to express since the pair got together.
He adds: “He has put the self-belief back into me.
“He has given me freedom to play and express myself and that’s very important to me. I have not been put under pressure.
“You need that self-belief – the game is a lot easier then. You can play with joy and you’re hungry to get more goals and that’s where I am now.”