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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 5 hours ago
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Apr 1, 2013

Clarke: Odemwingie still has role to play

West Bromwich Albion head coach Steve Clarke says Peter Odemwingie still remains part of his plans, despite the striker's recent Twitter outburst at the club.

• Blog: Errors cost Albion

During the international break, Odemwingie, 31, took to the social networking site to criticise his side over a lack of first-team action, accusing team-mates of talking behind his back and telling a fan he wanted to be sacked.

Clarke confirmed last week that the Nigeria international was facing a two-week fine and said he was "bored" with the behaviour of the player.

However, the Baggies boss insists that Odemwingie, who was jeered by West Brom supporters in the 3-1 defeat to West Ham on Saturday, has not disrupted his dressing room and still has a role to play this season.

"Peter has been part of my squad since the start of the season," Clarke told the Birmingham Mail. "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 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."

Odemwingie was previously fined £80,000 for a breach of the club's rules on social networking sites and was also punished after he drove to Loftus Road on transfer deadline day in an unsuccessful attempt to force through a move to Queens Park Rangers.

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