Striker opens up on difficult year
SAIDO Berahino will continue his quest for fitness by returning to the conditioning camp he recently attended in the South of France.
The decision for Berahino to return follows talks with Head Coach Tony Pulis and senior staff at the Club in the belief that the change of environment will benefit the Baggies striker’s return to Premier League action.
In his first statement about his battle to regain first-team sharpness, Berahino admits that he has struggled for focus in the last 12 months during a period which has again seen him at the centre of high-profile transfer speculation.
The player admits that he has been “in turmoil” and has appealed for the media to leave him to work through his difficulties away from the spotlight.
Berahino says: “I have had a good, constructive talk with Tony Pulis and the Club’s senior management and we all agree this is the best way forward for me.
“This last year has been the most difficult of my career and it has left me short of the form and fitness required for the Premier League.
“I have never been a player who lacked confidence or a belief in himself but that has been where I have found myself and it has hit me hard. It has left me feeling depressed and struggling for focus which has made it even more difficult to regain full fitness.
“Constant speculation in the media doesn’t help and I have made this statement in the hope that it will respect my privacy and determination to get my career back on track.
“I want to thank the Club for its support throughout what has been a period of turmoil for me. It may not have always seemed as if I have appreciated the efforts of everyone here to help me but believe me I do. Albion has been my second home and the Club that has brought me this far. It has never turned its back on me and when I need it most has been at my side.
“I want to thank my team mates who have been willing me on and providing positive support. I want nothing more than to earn my place alongside them and get back on the pitch scoring again.
“I also need to speak directly to the Albion fans. I know many are angry with me and feel I have let down their club. I have to deal with that criticism.
“But I know from the messages of support I receive there are many who still believe in me. I want them to know that I intend to do everything I can to repay that faith while also hopefully winning over those who doubt me.”