Belfast Telegraph

Irvine: Berahino is on right track

West Brom head coach Alan Irvine has told Saido Berahino to carry on scoring - despite his latest controversy.

The striker was arrested last month for alleged drink driving with the club only discovering the news on Monday.

Irvine found out when a club official contacted him while he was at Aston Villa's 1-1 draw with Southampton, hours before the news broke.

But Berahino is available to face Arsenal at The Hawthorns on Saturday and Irvine wants the eight-goal hitman to continue scoring.

He said: "It's the best way for any footballer to be in any game.

"If Saido plays as he has done for most of this season we will all be delighted.

"I've had a football chat with him and as far as I am concerned his head is in the right place and he's certainly trained very well. He scored a whole load of goals."

Berahino was stopped for travelling at "high speed" on the M6 motorway on October 22 and, when officers spoke to him, he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

He was bailed and is due to return to a Cheshire police station next month, although a date is yet to be fixed.

Last season, he was involved in a dressing room bust-up with team-mate James Morrison and was also caught on video inhaling legal high nitrous oxide.

But Irvine insisted he has no fears about Berahino's behaviour.

"I have said all along - and I don't know how many interviews we have sat here talking about it - for any young player it's important they make the right decisions and choices. Saido has been doing that," he said.

"I can't judge this instance at this time but I will repeat what I have said many times before and that is, if he continues to make the right decisions he will have a really fantastic future."

The 21-year-old was also called up to the England squad for the first time this month, although did not play against Slovenia or Scotland, though Irvine insisted his arrest was not an issue.

"I don't think there's any link there," he added.

"Roy (Hodgson) picked Saido, which was great. Saido went along for the experience but in the end, for whatever reason, Roy chose not to play him."

And Irvine insisted this week's news had not disrupted their preparations for the Gunners.

He said: "No it hasn't been. He didn't train on Tuesday but trained on Thursday and trained very well. It's not made any difference, everyone has got on with it which I would expect them to do."

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