• Premier League

Hodgson questions Odemwingie over injury problems

ESPN staff
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Peter Odemwingie has been an infrequent presence for the Baggies this season © PA Photos
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Frustrated West Brom manager Roy Hodgson says the club have "got nothing" from Peter Odemwingie since the forward signed a lucrative new contract at the club.

Odemwingie was a revelation following his move to the Hawthorns last season, scoring 15 vital goals as the Baggies secured survival in the Premier League with relative ease.

The Nigeria international was subsequently rewarded with a new £35,000-a-week contract in the summer as clubs including Wigan Athletic showed interest, but has made just eight league appearances (scoring twice) this season as a number of niggling injuries have kept him out of action.

"I'm frustrated, because we've got nothing out of him. It's been one problem after another," Hodgson said. "For a player who we really put so much into, in the hope he will be the one who will be our major force for staying in the Premier League, we have not had much of a return.

"When you sign that contract and accept a lot more money following a good season, you accept the club thinks you're the man."

Hodgson's anger is compounded by the fact he has found it difficult to talk with the player about his injury issues, and is in the dark about whether he will finally be fit to face Tottenham at the weekend.

"Peter is difficult to work out - you'd have to speak to the doctor about him," he said. "This is still the same problem he's had for a month. He was supposed to be fit for the Arsenal game but wasn't. Then he was definitely going to be fit for the Bolton game, but wasn't.

"And he is supposed to be fit for the Tottenham game and now there's a doubt about that, too. So I take any optimism with a pinch of salt.

"He didn't take part in many of the pre-season matches and hasn't taken part in many of the matches since."

The former Liverpool manager seems to be losing patience with the forward, especially as he believes there are a number of other players at the club who are playing through more serious injuries than the one afflicting Odemwingie.

"We have a lot of players at the club who will play when not fully fit," he said. "That's what makes it even harder when you get a player who is frustrated - or is frustrating - as it gets highlighted more when you've got the likes of the [Zoltan] Geras, the [Shane] Longs, the [Steven] Reids and the [Jerome] Thomases, who play through pain every week.

"So you don't want your star players out for months with injuries. Your star players need to be available."

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