West Bromwich Albion manager Pepe Mel insists there is no chance James Morrison’s dressing room bust-up with team-mate Saido Berahino will damage his side’s bid to avoid Premier League relegation.
Berahino was left with facial injuries after being punched by Scotland midfielder Morrison when the England Under-21 striker apparently refused to apologise for a mistake that led to Cardiff’s late equaliser in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at the Hawthorns.
West Brom have sought to play down the incident, saying it was a minor scuffle that was over in an instant and that it shows how much the players care.
It is understood Albion have no intention of selling the 20-year-old Berahino, who was reported to have considered pressing charges against Morrison before eventually opting not to pursue legal action.
With Albion sitting just one place and three points above the relegation zone, it would be understandable if Mel was furious with his players for causing a major headache at such a crucial time of the season.
But Mel is adamant he has no problem with players expressing their emotions, as long as they quickly put the issue behind them.
“Eighteen young sports players have come in disappointed,” Mel said on Thursday.
“It’s normal they would argue among themselves. After that it’s normal to have a beer and forget about it. The players were disappointed they hadn’t won the game for the supporters.
“What happens in the dressing room, should stay in the dressing room. I hope we have a positive reaction from this at Norwich.”
Berahino posted a cryptic tweet on Thursday with a quote from the Bible, which suggested he hasn’t completely moved on from the incident.
“A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly,” the tweet read.
But the posting was subsequently deleted and if Mel has worries about any lingering ill-feeling, he isn’t showing it.
The Spaniard intends to select Berahino for the final seven games of the season, the first of which is Saturday’s vital trip to Norwich.
“I’ve been impressed with Saido, he’s worked very well this week,” Mel said.
“In addition to being an excellent player, he is also intelligent. He has shown this in training. And I’m sure he will continue to show this.
“I’ve spoken to him throughout the week. He is very positive. He will be important to us in the final seven games.”