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Clarke dismisses Odemwingie exit fears

ESPN staff
January 21, 2013 « Newcastle eye Toulouse's Sissoko | Chartbeat test »
Peter Odemwingie rescued a point for West Brom in the Midlands derby with Aston Villa © PA Photos
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West Brom manager Steve Clarke believes striker Peter Odemwingie is happy at The Hawthorns despite continuing interest from QPR.

The Nigerian capped an impressive performance with a fine late equaliser in Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa and said afterwards that he loved the club "with all of my heart".

And Clarke said: "No-one will leave - there's no reason. I've spoken to Peter. I had a good chat with him and all he wanted to talk about was this game.

"He wanted to put on a good performance, and I think you saw he was motivated to play.

"There was interest from QPR - Harry told everybody! It doesn't unsettle good professionals, though. They understand that, when it gets to January, it's silly season."

Albion have now gone six matches without a win - mainly against teams from the lower reaches of the table - and have won only two of their last 12 games.

Having gone out of the Cup in a replay against QPR last week, they now have an 11-day gap between fixtures before going to Everton on January 30, and Clarke hopes striker Shane Long will be fit to play at Goodison.

"He has a really severe dead leg," he said. "He wasn't even close for this game. But there are ten days to the next one, and I expect him to be available.

"It was important for us to stop the run of defeats - three in a row was the most we've had in the Premier League this season. Both times (it also happened before Christmas), we've managed to stop it with a draw.

"Now we have to start trying to win games again. We have to put right a few wrongs."

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