Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Gamble brings reward for Di Matteo

Peter Odemwingie

West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo was delighted to see his gamble pay off after debutant Peter Odemwingie sealed a 1-0 victory for the Baggies over Sunderland.

Odemwingie's transfer to Albion from Lokomotiv Moscow was only confirmed on Friday, with international clearance coming late in the evening to allow him to be included in the squad for the match. Di Matteo decided to put the Nigeria forward straight into his starting XI, and Odemwingie responded in fine style, notching the winner nine minutes from time.

"He only trained once with us so it was a bit of a gamble," Di Matteo said.

"But we thought we would throw him in at the deep end and see how long he would last, and he certainly gave us a threat up front.

"He is not only an individual, but also a team player. We can see that he is a quality player.

"He has some ability and can give us something different, and I think he showed that a little bit.

"He scored the goal too, which was great for him.

"It wasn't easy to get him and we only got the international clearance late Friday night."