Steve Clarke has expressed anger at a comment made by TV presenter and West Bromwich Albion fan Adrian Chiles about striker Peter Odemwingie at the club's end-of-season dinner.
Chiles labelled Odemwingie "t**t of the year" during his speech at the event last Sunday, and Clarke said: "I thought it was out of order. It was a ridiculous comment to make.
"It wasn't the time for me to say anything on the night, but I am saying it now. It was a stupid comment, it was out of place. It was a West Bromwich Albion awards night, and there was no place for that kind of comment."
Clarke said Odemwingie - who was dropped after driving to Loftus Road in an apparent attempt to engineer a January deadline day move to QPR and subsequently hit out at the Baggies on Twitter - "is one of my players, and I protect my players fiercely, so I didn't like it".
He insisted the player had not been frozen out of his plans for the remainder of the season, despite suggestions that he will be sold in the summer.
"My relationship with Peter and all the players is good," he added. "I wouldn't freeze a player out.
"I think Peter is fired up anyway. He wants a chance to play. He has been waiting patiently for his opportunity, and I think that opportunity will come between now and the end of the season."
In a further twist to the long-running saga between Odemwingie and Albion, the striker held a meeting with PFA chief Gordon Taylor and Hawthorns executives in an attempt to get some of his recent fines rescinded.
He was fined by the club four times earlier this year - one of which was suspended - for misconduct as a result of his postings on Twitter.