Belfast Telegraph

Clarke wants Odemwingie to stay

Steve Clarke insists West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie has not been unsettled by the interest in him shown by QPR and is adamant he wants no players to leave the club during January.

Odemwingie held talks with Clarke ahead of Saturday's home draw with Aston Villa in which the Nigerian international netted a late equaliser. Albion have rejected one bid from Rangers for Odemwingie and are determined he will still be at the club on February 1.

Baggies head coach Clarke said: "I've spoken to Peter, I had a good chat with him (before the weekend) and all he wanted to talk about was this game with Villa. He wanted to put on a good performance and I think you saw he was motivated to play."

Clarke added: "I don't think that there's any decision in his mind (to make). There was interest from QPR. Harry (Redknapp) told everybody! It doesn't unsettle good professionals, though. They understand that when it gets to January, it's silly season.

"Clubs come in, teams are linked with everyone. Someone saw me at Liverpool recently and assumed I was in for a Liverpool player. No-one will leave, there's no reason."

Albion keeper Ben Foster stressed the importance of Odemwingie after his volleyed equaliser capped a fine performance. Foster said: "Peter can be frustrating at times but other times he can be magical. That's the beauty of him, he can frustrate you but has so much skill and ability.

"In any case, we can't afford to let anybody go. We are struggling, we have had so many injuries. We've had only 13 or 14 training at times. Hopefully Peter won't be going anywhere."

Foster admits Clarke was far from happy with Albion's first half performance before they recovered from a 2-0 deficit to share the spoils.

He said: "We never got started, the gaffer gave us a bit at half-time in the changing room which was fair enough because nobody seemed to be at it. There have not been many times when the gaffer has given us a bit.

He's not like that normally, he's one of the calmer managers and I think the lads do appreciate that. But there are times when you do need to be given a bit and he did. He gave us more than a bit.

"He's not a crazy manager, he's not a screamer and shouter, but he just said 'it's a local derby for god's sake, try and do something for your fans`, and we did'".


From Belfast Telegraph