Pulis sets out ambitions for long-term
TONY Pulis has hailed Saido Berahino as Albion’s young England striker readies himself for the run-in.
Berahino will be a key figure for the Baggies as they seek to close the season by securing their Premier League season and gathering some forward momentum in the process.
The Baggies top scorer was pulled out of England Under 21 duty by a concerned Pulis who had watched Berahino battle through the previous five games despite carrying a foot injury.
That was indicative of the 21-year-old’s attitude and focus, said Pulis, delighted that the player refused to dodge the demands of such a taxing period.
And when Pulis was asked yet again about the forward’s long term future his response was uncompromising.
He said: “Listen, Saido is fine – he’s a good player who is working so hard with lots of qualities and determination. I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
“He is really concentrating on his football at the moment and not everything else that can surround young players. And he’s been first class. His attitude and approach has been nothing short of excellent.
“He’s been playing with an injury when he could easily have pulled out of a few of the games. In the last month particularly I have been really delighted with him. He is a gifted player and he wants to make the most of those gifts.
“He’s a young man and you have to be careful and mindful of what they go through when they get the kind of spotlight Saido has had.
“I’ve spent more time talking with Saido than maybe one or two others but he’s a got a great talent and he’s getting the rewards for the way he is applying himself right now.”
Pulis’s focus on the next challenge – represented by a key Hawthorns clash against a QPR outfit fighting to get out of the bottom three – is unrelenting.
But he offered a rare glimpse of his future aspirations this week when he spoke about his ambitions to return the Baggies to top 10 status in the Premier League.
He added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be at this club. I love working with the players, with the staff, and we are all focused on taking it forward.
“The most important thing right now is to take care of this season. We will never look any further than beyond what is directly in front of us and the QPR game is massive; that’s what we’re focused on.
“But it’s a good club and it’s a club which I think can be a top 10 club in the Premier League. That is the ambition I have and I know the chairman has too.
“He accepts that it has drifted a bit in the past couple of seasons and we all want to get it going forward again. That’s what we’re all aiming for.”