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Saturday, January 19, 2013
Odemwingie staying with West Brom

ESPN staff

Peter Odemwingie insisted he wasn't going anywhere after his goal rescued a point for West Brom in a hard-fought Midlands derby with Aston Villa that ended 2-2.

Steve Clarke's men went in at the break 2-0 down after a rifled shot from Christian Benteke and a superb solo goal from Gabby Agbonlahor fired Villa into a commanding position.

But Chris Brunt pulled a goal back five minutes after the restart following good work from Romelu Lukaku, before Odemwingie's close range volley ensured a share of the derby day spoils for the Baggies.

The Nigerian said the result was a good one for the Baggies, who nevertheless drop to eighth in the standings. It was a good point for us,'' Odemwingie told ESPN. "From 2-0 down, coming out with a point was good.

"We could have scored a third one but I think the manager is pleased with a point.'' Asked about the transfer speculation, he added: "I'm not the one deciding this. Nothing abnormal is going on. Players move clubs.

"An offer was made and I was thinking about having to secure my own future in the Premier League, which is my desire. So we had a good talk with the club and now I'm here and I would say that it's a club that I love with all my heart.''

Baggies boss Steve Clarke confirmed Odemwingie is not leaving. He said: "No-one is going out in January. We don't need to sell anyone. Will he move if there is a silly offer? You don't know our chairman (Jeremy Peace). No-one is going out.

"The quicker we get to February 1 the better. No-one is coming in and no-one is going out.''

Clarke praised the second half comeback by his side after an indifferent opening 45 minutes. He said: "I'm not sure relief was the emotion. The emotion was disappointing at the way we played in the first half. We knew Villa are a dangerous team but we didn't show our qualities in the first half.

"We didn't pass the ball like we can and it was nice to get in at half-time and regroup. The second half was much improved and there was a little bit of pride at the way we played.''

The draw continued Villa's frustrating run of form which has now seen them fail to win any of their last six Premier League outings and slump to a 3-1 defeat to Bradford in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

Paul Lambert's men can lighten the mood by booking their place at Wembley with a convincing win in the return leg in midweek, but the boss was angry that his players did not put the game to bed.

"We should have been out of sight at half-time," he said. "I have a few things going through my head. I thought we were excellent in the first-half. We should have been out of sight, it should have been finished.

"We should have been four up. That would have killed the game. The way we played in the first-half was excellent. In the second half West Brom came out strongly but you expect that. They are the home side. It was disappointing not to win the game because it should have been finished in the first half.''

A point was sufficient to move Villa out of the bottom three and Lambert insists they can survive. He said: "I have always thought we would do it. I have always thought that. If you look at the league in mid-table, it's really, really tight.

Lambert also defended his decision to replace the impressive Charles N'Zogbia, who set up both Villa goals, midway through the second half.

"Charles is a real talent, a real, real talent. He goes past people as if they're not that at times,'' said Lambert. "When I took him off, he wasn't injured. He's back from a long lay-off so you have to watch him. We have games coming up. We have to protect him.''




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