Tony Pulis believes West Brom’s fans have forgiven “naughty child” Saido Berahino for wanting to leave.
The boss insisted any rift between the striker and supporters has been healed following his winning goal in the 1-0 derby win over Aston Villa.
Berahino threatened to never play for the club again following two rejected deadline-day bids from Tottenham, but he returned to the starting line-up at Villa and obliged with his first goal of the season.
The 22-year-old was rested in Wednesday’s 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat at Norwich but is expected to start at The Hawthorns against Everton on Monday and Pulis insisted he has been welcomed back.
“They’ve been very good and very supportive and the great thing for me is the Saido situation,” he said.
“I think Saido was concerned there might be a little turning of the tide but they were absolutely wonderful when he came on against Southampton and last Saturday against Villa.
“They truly are in love with their football club and they want their football club to do well and Saido is a big part of that now.
“They have embraced him and brought him back into the fold – that naughty child!
“It’s good because it takes the pressure off him. It’s the biggest thing for the lads to take the pressure off.
“The reaction of the supporters and players shows there’s good unity in the group. What we need to do now is for him to concentrate on playing football which is what he’s good at.”
Pulis made 10 changes for the defeat at Carrow Road as he rested Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt and Salomon Rondon after admitting they needed a break ahead of Everton’s visit.
“Those players have had the opportunity to have an extra day off. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning we’ll really prepare,” he added.