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Apr 4, 2013

Clarke: Let's talk football, not Twitter

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has said he does not want the ongoing Peter Odemwingie Twitter controversy to overshadow the club's season.

Odemwingie's criticism of the club since his attempt to force through a move to QPR on transfer deadline day has threatened to distract from the Baggies' on-field exploits.

Last month, the Nigeria international tweeted: "I see a free player. A player who buys out his contract soon. Or a retired player. Does he look like he cares much? They made him not to."

But Clarke said: "The matter has been dealt with internally by the club and I hope we can move on and talk about West Bromwich Albion and the good season we've had.

"Everyone has to be open-minded about Twitter, although it's not a concept I'm comfortable with. I don't understand the attraction of faceless media.

"I try to sort things out face-to-face with people and I can understand the tone of questions better when they come from someone in the same room.

"Social media, including emailing, is impersonal, but I have to try to understand it better. A lot of people obviously love it - I've got kids who use it."

Odemwingie has repeatedly taken to tweeting about his differences with Albion despite being punished for doing so by the club.

He has not started a senior game since then and again looks likely to be no more than a substitute for the visit of Arsenal on Saturday.

Although midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu starts a three-match ban following his red card at West Ham, Clarke is optimistic that midfielder James Morrison will be available after a three-week absence with knee trouble.

Steven Reid is also expected to be fit to challenge for a return, contesting the right-back slot with Billy Jones.

"Everybody has been out on the training pitch at various times but you do have knocks at this time of the season and we'll see how they all are nearer the game," Clarke added. "We played a lot of good football at West Ham, but you have to do the ugly side and stay in the game."

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