Peter Odemwingie will play for West Brom again this season, says Steve Clarke
Striker attempted to force transfer to QPR
The reintegration of West Brom wantaway Peter Odemwingie is continuing with manager Steve Clarke insisting the striker will have a part to play this season.
Having travelled with the squad to Anfield last night, the Nigerian sat in the stand to watch the Baggies' surprise 2-0 win over Liverpool, their first victory since Boxing Day.
Clarke said the 31-year-old, who was disciplined by the club after trying to force a deadline-day move to QPR by driving to Loftus Road, was involved with the team in the pre-match build-up and hopes he can soon return in a playing capacity.
Clarke had suggested prior to the Liverpool match that Odemwingie might be involved for the first time since January 19, but insisted there was nothing sinister in his eventual decision to leave him out.
"It wasn't an additional punishment and he was involved, that is why he was there," he said.
"He was in the dressing room, he was delighted for his team-mates and was there to support them and help them.
"It is all part of what being part of a squad about.
"Peter makes his contribution and will make a contribution in the season going forward."
West Brom spent most of the match pursuing and pressing their hosts and they were successful enough to still be in the game with 10 minutes to go after goalkeeper Ben Foster had saved Steven Gerrard's penalty.
Defender Gareth McAuley's header and Romelu Lukaku's 90th-minute strike snatched victory but Clarke felt the platform had been established by his midfield.
"It is the first time in a number of weeks I've had the luxury of being able to pick Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob and James Morrison in the same midfield," he said.
"When they are together and everyone is doing their jobs properly we are a good team and deserve to be in the top eight."
Clarke admitted selecting that trio restricted his options up front but was pleased with the contribution of both Shane Long, who started, and Lukaku.
"They are a good combination. When they play together they play well but when I have my three midfield players in there it is difficult to play both," he said.
"Sometimes I have to make difficult decisions and in recent weeks Rom, for a 19-year-old, has been carrying a lot of weight up front.
"So it was nice to give him a breather and the chance to come into the game to do what he did.
"Rom did well but he got the benefit of the hard work of Shane Long, who put in a hell of a shift.
"He came on when the game was open - we knew Liverpool would come chasing the game and we could pick them off - and fortunately for the first time this year it worked."
Latest in Sport
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
On-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois still believes in Chelsea youth policy
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
Manuel Pellegrini must decide on futures of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott as Manchester City name starting date for new manager
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll delays over West Ham move
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.