Clarke: Odemwingie can have WBA future
Published 01/02/2013 | 17:46
West Brom manager Steve Clarke insists striker Peter Odemwingie has not played his last game for the club after seeing his hopes of a move to QPR dashed.
Clarke admits it was "total lunacy" for Odemwingie to turn up at Loftus Road on Thursday before any deal had been agreed between the two clubs. He also claimed Odemwingie had been "badly advised and should be looking for new agents".
But Clarke hopes bridges can eventually be rebuilt between himself, Odemwingie, players and supporters after meeting the 31-year-old at the club's training ground. He said: "I was very disappointed with yesterday's events. There was never a situation where Peter was not our player."
He continued: "I was surprised when he turned up at Loftus Road because he had not been given permission to do that. It is obvious there has been some form of misunderstanding by Peter of the situation, but West Brom never gave permission to QPR to speak to Peter.
"There was a moment when I thought a deal might happen. But it was total lunacy to turn up at QPR because the deal was not agreed. He jumped the gun. If I was Peter Odemwingie, I would be looking for new agents."
Clarke has not written off the Nigeria frontman's chances of playing for Albion again, although he is not being considered for the Tottenham game on Sunday.
He said: "Myself, Peter, board members Dan Ashworth and Richard Garlick had a meeting and that is the start of the process. Peter is not in the right frame of mind to be involved this weekend and he has been given permission to go back home. He will then come back when we decide the time is right for him to start training.
"There always has to be a way back. There are examples of high-profile cases where there has been a way back. It won't happen overnight but he is part of my squad and hopefully we will get to a situation some time in the future where there is a resolution and Peter can help West Brom.
"Has he played his last game for the club? As I sit here now, I can't say for sure he hasn't played his last game for the club. But I don't think he has played his last game for the club."
Clarke accepts it will be a gradual process to reintegrate the player back into his plans. He said: "Everyone makes mistakes in life and you have to try to recover as best as you can. Maybe he has to apologise first, then he has to get back into the squad and show the team he is willing to help them. I sensed remorse when I spoke to him."