Mother's pride Odemwingie cooks up a storm with Albion

Roberto Di Matteo had nothing to say when asked about the prospect of Peter Odemwingie maintaining his goalscoring record this season. The West Bromwich Albion manager simply closed his eyes and put his hands together in prayer.

Nor, you feel, was he being irreverent. The Nigeria international's eight goals in 16 starts suggest Albion's chances of staying up depend on them keeping him fit and, having missed most of October after stretching knee ligaments, Odemwingie acknowledged the Premier League's punishing Christmas schedule had asked physical questions his body was not accustomed to answering.

"December was the first time I played on Sunday and then Tuesday, a one-day break. At least now I know I have done it and it is possible, but it is hard," the striker said on Friday.

A system that means Odemwingie is usually the only attacking outlet places a higher premium on physical conditioning; according to Di Matteo, statistics reveal that Odemwingie is among his hardest-working players. Had John Carew chosen Albion instead of Stoke last week – the club matched the Potters' offer to Aston Villa – the burden might have been reduced. As it is, Albion travel to Blackburn today with Odemwingie once again likely to be a sole striker.

Odemwingie is philosophical. "To be honest I think he [Carew] would have struggled here, because if you are talking about his height, our game is not about crossing all the time. If his strong point is heading, I don't think he would get so many chances, though for sure the few times he did he would have got some goals.

"It's not that I like [playing on my own], this is how our team plays. If you have more players running up front it is more interesting for you, but sometimes you see everybody is playing disciplined, and you just have to do it."

Such is his good nature, it is hard to imagine Odemwingie complaining about anything, though he has made his feelings clear on the racism he experienced while playing in Russia, hoping the decision to award the country the 2018 World Cup will force the game's authorities to ensure the cancer is eradicated.

In the meantime his mother, Raisa, still lives in Moscow and, as he explained, continues to ensure he is looking after himself. "I have startedto cook for myself, which is something new for me. I think a man needs to sometimes be ready to look after himself. Also, I think you can impress people, it is not a usual thing when a boy makes a nice meal.

"Last week I cooked a type of fried rice, a complicated dish with a few tricks in it – so I had my Mum watching me on Skype, telling me every second what I had to do. It was Friday night, and I said to her if I score tomorrow we will have to do more."

Two goals in the win against Blackpool duly ensured that, yesterday evening, Odemwingie was once again in culinary communication with the Russian capital. Blackburn can only hope Mrs Odemwingie loses her touch.

Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 4pm

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower