Tony Pulis: Saido Berahino won't start against Newcastle

Saido Berahino is not going to start against Newcastle tomorrow, revealed Albion head coach Tony Pulis, but he will be given 90 minutes against Peterborough next Wednesday.


Although last season's top scorer is desperate to play more football, Pulis still doesn't think he's fit enough to start a Premier League match.

Berahino hasn't started a league game in three months, and despite speculation he would be sold in January, the 22-year-old striker remained at the Baggies.

Now that the transfer window is closed, Pulis wants to get the young striker back to the form he showed last season.

"He wants to play, desperately," said Pulis. "He wants to be involved, we're desperate to get him involved.

"All those shenanigans have now eased off the kid and hopefully he can see a path through to the end of the season.

"If there's a path that he can see through and focus his mind on then he's a different kid.

"If there's obstacles he gets confused, he gets misled, everything else runs through his mind."

Berahino was at his clinical best against Peterborough last weekend, bagging two goals and one with either foot, but it's still not enough to get him a start in the Premier League.

Pulis is expected to keep faith in Salomon Rondon after the club's record signing grabbed the equaliser against Swansea on Tuesday, his first league goal since October.

"You've got to accept that this football club has been without one of the best goalscorers in the Premier League all season," Pulis said when asked about Berahino.

"Take Vardy out of Leicester, see where Leicester would be.

"It's been a big miss for this football club.

"The windows closed and he's still with us, we've got to make sure he gets his head down, works hard on his fitness and get him back into the fold as quickly as possible."

Tomorrow's opponents made a £21million bid for Berahino in January but Albion chairman Jeremy Peace rejected the offer because he didn't want to give such a potent finisher to relegation rivals.

The Magpies are in the bottom three and eight points behind the Baggies, but they spent £24m in total on midfielders Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend and brought striker Seydou Doumbia on loan from Roma.

"Newcastle is a fantastic club and they've spent a hell of a lot of money," said Pulis.

"They'll be having a right go last quarter of the season. We'll go there and we'll give it our best shot."

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