Albion veteran Steven Reid today lifted the lid on how Saido Berahino’s Brentford bust-up helped him kick-start his Baggies career.
Reid reckons Berahino’s fall-out with Bees boss Uwe Rosler and the knee injury he suffered at the end of last season were “turning points” in the 20-year-old’s life.
The England Under-21 international netted the fairytale winner in Albion’s 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Saturday after marking his full debut with a hat-trick in the Capital One Cup. “He has been superb this season,” said Reid.
“I can’t credit him enough. Maybe a year and a half ago, when he went to Brentford on loan, it was a turning point for him. It was a point when he realised he needed to knuckle down and focus on football. He worked his socks off this summer, lost a lot of body fat and got trim, and I can’t give him enough credit.”
Berahino scored four goals in eight appearances for Brentford in 2011 but angered Rosler with a Twitter outburst and had his loan cut short after the pair fell out again. He joined Peterborough on loan last season and impressed in his 10-game stint but saw the spell cut short by a knee injury.
Reid said: “There was a time a couple of years ago when I first signed for the club where maybe his attitude wasn’t spot on.
“But now he is a completely different character. He is in doing his exercises every morning, he is in the gym and preparing his body for training every day after the injury he had last season. He worked all through the summer and got himself in great shape.
“There is a turning point in every career when you’ve got to decide what path you’re going to go down. Thankfully for us he has got his head right.”
Meanwhile, Albion midfielder George Thorne played 90 minutes yesterday as he continued his recovery from a serious knee injury. Albion Under-21s lost 4-3 to Newcastle.