Belfast Telegraph

Pulis to build side round Berahino

Tony Pulis is ready to build his team around Saido Berahino as he prepares West Brom for battle.

The Baggies head coach will take charge of struggling Albion for the first time in the Barclays Premier League when they host Hull on Saturday.

Berahino has hit 13 goals this season, four in Pulis' first game in charge in last week's 7-0 FA Cup win over Gateshead.

He has been linked with a move away from The Hawthorns and the Baggies have put contract talks on hold.

But West Brom have not received any bids for the 21-year-old and Pulis, who replaced Alan Irvine last week, is prepared to mould his new side around the striker.

"Oh yeah, he's a goalscorer," he said, with Albion a point and a place about the bottom three. "He's got the technical ability, he's also got wonderful balance - he can adjust his feet, adjust his body. He's gifted.

"Obviously he's very clinical when he gets in front of goal. He's got a great future in front of him, the most important thing is he recognises and realises he's been given a gift and he makes the most of that.

"My initial thing is that he's certainly got the talent to be a player."

Berahino is due to appear at Runcorn Magistrates Court on January 19 - the day Albion go to Everton - after being charged with drink driving.

He has impressed Pulis with his attitude in training, though, and the ex-Stoke and Crystal Palace manager has held talks with the England Under-21 international.

"He's got no dirty slate with me to start with - I've just come through the door," said Pulis. "I've been very, very impressed with his training. He's worked very hard, he's technically a very good player.

"He's got his whole footballing career in front of him, he's been given a gift by God and he's very fortunate.

"The most important thing he can do is make the most of it. He has to understand and recognise that to be a professional athlete, and as a good professional athlete, you have to be disciplined, and that's most probably the way the conversation went."

Pulis is without Jonas Olsson (Achilles) but Joleon Lescott is set to return after being rested for the FA Cup win.

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