Stoke City manager Gary Rowett has heaped praises on Saido Berahino after the striker ended a two-and-a-half-year goal drought against Huddersfield Town.
The former West Brom striker gave the Potters the lead in the 53rd minute with a well-placed header before an own-goal from Huddersfield’s Juninho Bacuna sealed a 2-0 win for the Championship side.
“He needed a lucky break and he’s reacted well,” said Rowett, according to Sky Sports. “I’m pleased for everyone first and foremost, but I’m pleased for him.”
“He’s only 25 and he’s got a bright career. It’s a good start for him and he’s got to keep working hard. He’s been one of our brighter players and his work rate has been excellent.”
“If you haven’t scored that many goals it’s hard, so I’m pleased for him. The first day I came in Saido came to see me and wanted to see where he stood and to discuss why previous regimes had maybe ostracised him, maybe?”
“He said he’d been to blame for some of his actions and he was honest, which is the first step for anyone who has done something wrong and wants to start afresh.”
“All I said to him was forget me – if you work hard for me then you’ll win me over. I told him it’s the rest of his mates he has to win over, he had to earn the respect of his team-mates back and for them to trust him.”
“When he scored everybody went over to him, which shows they were all really pleased for him. He’s worked hard since pre-season and earned the respect of his team-mates.”
The hosts could have won by more but Berahino wasted two good chances and keeper Jonas Lossl thwarted winger James McClean with a smart save at his near post.