Zulte Waregem manager Francky Dury is utterly shocked by Glen Johnson’s attack on his striker Saido Berahino saying he ‘cannot believe’ the former Liverpool defender’s attack on the ‘unbelievable’ forward.
Dury insists Berahino has been incredibly apt since he joined the Belgian club.
Berahino joined the Belgian Pro League side this summer after terminating his contract at Championship side Stoke City, despite warnings from Johnson over his attitude.
Following his release from the Potters, Johnson sought to slap the player with a stinging tirade and strongly warned other clubs against signing him because of his conduct.
Johnson described the Burundian star as one of the worst professionals he has EVER encountered in football, with even ex-Stoke striker Peter Crouch seconding him.
But it appears Johnson’s comments and Crouch’s secondment were unfounded allegations as Berahino’s new manager has saluted the player’s work ethics and professional conduct.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Zulte Waregem boss Dury described Berahino as ‘a real professional’ and said it was ‘love at first sight’ when the forward first arrived in Belgium.
“He has been here for five or six weeks and I like the boy, he’s been very good,” he told Jim White on Wednesday.
When talkSPORT played Johnson’s comments to the Belgian boss, he said in reply: “I’m surprised.
“What Johnson explained, I don’t know, I was not there, I didn’t see it, so for me personally I cannot believe it. What I didn’t see I don’t always believe – this is perception.
“I can only speak about my experience with Saido and this is for the moment very, very positive.
“I have nothing bad to say about his attitude.
Franck Dury however suspects that Johnson and Crouch might have been disrespectful towards Saido leading to his conduct towards them.
“Maybe his former team-mates were not respectful, maybe the club was not respectful, I don’t know. I have nothing to say about the past. I have a project with the boy of the future.
“From my first contact with the player, I was in my office with his two agents and it was love at first sight.
“The boy wants to play football. In his first session he was unbelievable. Every player and every supporter who was watching training, they said ‘this player has unbelievable qualities’.
“I saw after the session that he enjoyed it, and when you enjoy something you can do it well, you love it. That was an important moment for me.
“He has done nothing other than what all the other players have done. He comes on time, he eats his breakfast, he has lunch together with the boys.”
The boss added: “He even has a special programme where he watches our next opponents and he knows many information about the other team – this is, for me personally, a real professional
“Now I am working with a player who is happy, I am happy with him, I love the boy, the boy is accepted by the all the players, the players are accepted by the boy and now I’m looking forwards.
“He is already been man-of-the-match twice, he was in the team of the week this weekend and he has already scored two goals.
“So you are listening to a happy coach.”
Berahino’s departure from Stole City to SV Zulte-Waregem seems to have not gone down well with the Championship side and some former players but his new club are overly impressed with his output.
By: Sheikh Tophic Sienu @desheikh1 on twitter