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Feb 5, 2013

Reid wants to put controversies aside

Steven Reid believes West Bromwich Albion can put their recent controversies behind them and produce a strong finish to what they still hope will prove their best Premier League season.

• Blog: Moment of madness cost Albion

The experienced defender, who made his first start for nearly two months in Sunday's 1-0 home defeat against Tottenham, quickly dismissed the sending-off of Goran Popov for spitting as 'one of the mad moments' that happen in football.

Liam Ridgewell is on hand as a powerful replacement for the Macedonian while Reid insists the Hawthorns dressing room is strong enough to also come through the furore of Peter Odemwingie's non-move to QPR.

The forward is back in training, although by no means sure when he will be back in action for the club, as the dust settles on the big story of transfer deadline day.

Asked whether the Nigerian would be welcomed back into the fold, Reid was at best equivocal. "We'll have to see and it's up to the club how they deal with it," he said. "But, if it does happen, I'm sure we'll get on with it and there might come a point in the campaign when he's needed. "It's up to the club and I'm not going to get involved in team selection."

There is hurt among Albion fans, given that they welcomed Odemwingie to the Black Country warmly two-and-a-half years ago after he had suffered racial abuse at his previous club, Lokomotiv Moscow.

At Sunday's game, the chanting on the matter was restricted to humorous barbs from Spurs supporters but there have been reports of a QPR shirt being hung on the forward's peg at Albion as a joke.

"I think you know I'm not going to comment on things that go on in the dressing room," Reid added. "And it's up to the fans how they deal with it.

"The saga hasn't had a great effect on the dressing room to be honest and we've got a strong group with a lot of leaders. There are enough characters and leaders to get through it.

"It's up to him and it's not the way I'd go about doing things. I'm sure it's not the way a lot of other lads would but these things happen in football.

"Maybe the group wasn't as strong when I first joined but it is now and maybe that's why we're in the position we are in, in the league."

Albion have to pick up quickly after January brought them three points or fewer (in this case only one) for the third consecutive Premier League campaign, with February also kicking off with a defeat.

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