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Cross: Keep the pressure off Berahino; Cross: Great chance to reach final.

Byline: Bill Howell Our man with Albion

Our man with Albion FORMER Albion favourite Nicky Cross says the club must strive to keep as much pressure as they can ogoalden boy Saido Berahino.

e 21-year-old notched his 18th goal of the campaign - and fourth in ve games - against Villa and has already bagged ve goals in the FA Cup heading into Saturday's quarter-nal at Villa Park.

"He's a special talent but the one thing people have got to remember is that he is still a young lad," said Cross.

"To come in, especially with all the hype now and the attention players get, you can't hide from anything.

"Whether it is going out for a meal, or being caught drink-driving, it will be in the papers. Nothing can be hidden.

"So he is under a lot of pressure. what we have got to do is make sure we don't put him under too much pressure. At the moment he's got the limelight and the pressure as everyone is expecting him to score every game."

Cross was arguably the club's last " homegrown goalscorer to come through the ranks.

He believes his introduction to the TURN. TO PAGE 53 FROM. BAC BA K PAGE team was easier given the lack of media coverage in comparison during his playing days.

"I was about 20/21 when I broke through, so a similar age to Saido. Looking back you want to get into the team and you want to be a regular but that wasn't going to happen for me then because we had such good players: Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham, for example.

"I had an introduction to it - Big Ron Atkinson gave me my debut - then I came back out. Big Ron threw me into a league game at Old Tra ord as a sub. It was sink or swim. I was a boyhood United supporter so that day brings massive memories for me.

"ey were great times and from that moment I knew that Ron had condence in me and you get condence as a player from that. You don't want to let him down. Ron was great for that. He gave you a belief and you wanted to play for him."

Cross says Albion and Villa may never have a better chance of getting to a Cup Final this season.

"It's a massive cup tie for both clubs because potentially you could have Bradford or Reading in the semi-nal,'' he said.

"It would give the winner a huge chance of getting to the nal."

Albion fans will never tire of asking Cross to recall his match-winning goal against Villa in October 1982.

"It came from Gordon Cowans' backpass," he recalls.

"You want to have a good touch when you control a ball, but sometimes you can have too good a touch and that's what happened because I got it stuck under my feet.

"You need half a yard to address the ball and hit it but I couldn't so my options were straight away limited to one thing and that was to chip it.

"And I chipped it over Jimmy Rimmer. It worked but it doesn't always work. For it to be the only goal of a derby game it leaves me with fond memories."

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Albion favourite Nicky Cross

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 5, 2015
Words:551
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