Albion earn praise from new head coach
TONY Pulis praised four-goal hero Saido Berahino as Albion emphatically claimed their place in the FA Cup fourth round.
The Baggies won 7-0 against a Gateshead side who won plenty of friends, both on and off the field.
The non-Leaguers showed impressive resilience until the 40th minute, only to concede five goals in the space 13 minutes either side of the half.
Albion ended up with their biggest win since their victory of the same scoreline against Barnsley in May 2007.
Berahino became the first Albion player since Tony Brown in 1973 (vs Nottingham Forest) to score four goals in one game.
In his press conference afterwards, Pulis praised Berahino - stating he was unaware the Albion striker had not celebrated any of his goals.
On BERAHINO, Pulis said:
"The kid's a very talented lad
"He has great ability and scores goals. I'm looking forward to working with him.
"Someone told me he didnt celebrate. But people want to see how happy he was in the dressing room. He was happy in there.
"It was nice to see the players go over - that showed unity. I haven't trained or worked with him but he looks talented."
Pulis picked a strong side for Albion's FA Cup third round clash. On the FA CUP, Pulis continued:
"The FA Cup is the greatest cup competition in the world.
"It's not just good for players and the team but it's wonderful for supporters.
"The people of Stoke-on-Trent will tell you that after we got to the final a few years ago."
Speaking about GATESHEAD and the game in general, Pulis said:
"First and foremost I want to say how well Gateshead played. Until the first goal went in they played ever so well so credit to them.
"But we got a couple of goals before half-time. We looked a little bit more relaxed after that.
"I'm pleased we scored a few and kept a clean sheet. But next week we will really get to work and the nitty gritty.
"The real work starts on Monday.
"We have a difficult job on our hands. A lot of clubs are fighting for survival.
"This will be a big window for us. We need to strengthen the team and the squad."
Pulis planned to watch the whole game from the directors' box - something he abandoned 15 minutes into the game.
"I had no intention of going down - I did so after about 15 minutes. We started apprehensively and they shouldn't be like that, but they have been.
"That's got to be eradicated. We need confidence and belief. Winning games is vital for confidence. I tried to stay upstairs and analyse it but I just get too involved.
"I won't be wearing a suit next week - I'll be back in my tracksuit."