Clarke: No Odemwingie issue

Steve Clarke says Peter Odemwingie has not disrupted the West

Bromwich Albion dressing room and remains part of his plans.

The striker, who pushed for a move away from The Hawthorns in

January, was jeered by a section of his own supporters on Saturday

as he appeared off the bench in a 3-1 defeat to West Ham

United.

An outing at Upton Park was Odemwingie’s first since his latest

outburst on Twitter, in which he criticised his manager and

team-mates.

Clarke has admitted to growing frustrated by a distracting saga

surrounding his Nigeria international, but insists he will not

freeze the 31-year-old forward out of his thoughts.

He told the Birmingham Mail: “Peter has been part of my squad

since the start of the season.

“The episode in January was obviously difficult for all

concerned but we left the door open, we got him back in the squad

and he still has to be part of the squad.

“I run with a small squad and I thought his introduction on

Saturday was positive. He had one good run, a fantastic run by

James Collins that probably saved a certain goal.

“Our players’ dressing room is really good. It’s a strong

dressing room. We can handle this situation.

“Fans can react any way they want. My job is to get a team on

the pitch that can get positive results and I have to use all the

players at my disposal to do that.

“I don’t think any negativity affected the way we played on

Saturday or caused our result or performance. It would be wrong to

say that.”