Tony Pulis has said West Brom will need the goals of striker Brown Ideye to help them stay in the Premier League this season.
The Nigerian striker has scored two goal in as many appearances having struggled to find his shooting boots early on following his club record £10 million move to the Midlands club.
Having bagged the equalising goal in West Brom’s 2-2 draw at Burnley last weekend, Ideye capped his best week at the Hawthorns by opened the scoring and assisting Saido Berahino on Wednesday night as the Baggies secured a 2-0 win over Swansea.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie with West Ham, the Albion head coach was quoted by the Birmingham Mail as saying: “Strikers live off confidence. He’s always been a good lad around the place, always worked hard. In training he’s been brilliant.
"Fingers crossed these goals in last couple games will give him confidence to push on. We’re very light in that position at the moment.”
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Ideye and Berahino seemed to strike up a good understanding in mid-week and Pulis explained why he believed that was the case as he heaped praise on the Baggies 15-goal man.
“Saido is a very good player who can play with most players because he is technically a gifted player - a natural footballer," Pulis said. "It is not too difficult on the football pitch to play with Saido.”
With Victor Anichebe out with a groin problem Pulis hinted there will be more chances for Ideye and Berahino to continue their partnership up front due to a lack of other options.
He said: “Victor is injured at the moment, I am not sure whether he will be available for tomorrow but you take Victor out of the equation and it is just the two on the pitch so we are very, very light in that position at the moment.”
Having been deployed in different roles in his limited chances this season Ideye seemed to thrive in the number nine position in his last two outings and the former Stoke City and Crystal Palace boss has no doubt that is his best position.
Pulis said: “I have always seen him that way, I have always seen him as a nine. They tell me he can play out wide and he has played out wide, they tell me he can play behind but looking at him in training you would say he was a nine.”
Pulis, who has lost just once in his eight games as Albion boss, also praised the immediate impact made by January signing Darren Fletcher who has been named captain since joining the club from Manchester United.
The head coach said: “On and off the pitch he has been very good. It was not just a signing for the 90 minutes on Saturday it was a signing to bring someone into the football club who has got good standards, been brought up the right way, who is a winner and you need a few of them in your dressing room.”