West Brom issue Odemwingie challenge
Published 23:00 03/11/11 By MirrorFootball
Roy Hodgson has challenged West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie to start delivering the kind of goal-power which made him the club's leading scorer last season.
Odemwingie netted 15 goals in his first campaign with the Baggies but a niggling ankle injury and lack of form means the Nigeria international has been on target just twice during the current campaign.
With Shane Long sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury, Hodgson is looking for Odemwingie to get back to his best - starting with Saturday's clash at Arsenal if he overcomes a knock to his knee.
Hodgson said: "Peter knows he can do a lot better, we all do. He's had a bit of a stop-start season with one or two injuries he picked up.
"We haven't had that fortunate situation we had last season when for about 10 games in a row he was fully fit, playing and training at the level he wants to be at.
"But we know his qualities, what he can do, and we know what value he has to us.
"It is just a matter of time before we see that again but I'm sure he'd agree he's not playing to the level he was at the end of last season."
Hodgson plays down the theory that Long's arrival has had a negative impact on Odemwingie's contribution.
He said: "Most players are grateful if they've had to shoulder a heavy burden to have it shared.
"I don't subscribe it (Odemwingie's form) is down to Shane coming in and doing well.
"He plays with small margins and, when things aren't going well, the margins always seem to be against you. Then you try to play catch-up. Then you try to overcomplicate matters."
Hodgson has rejected the chance to loan out striker Marc-Antoine Fortune to Doncaster.
Hodgson is reluctant to reduce the size of his strike force at this juncture after Long suffered his knee setback.
He said: "Doncaster Rovers have asked about Marc but, with Long out and Peter having taken this knock on his knee, I would prefer to wait.
"We get these situations all the time but my principle to loaning is very simple.
"If it suits the player and is good for the player and will help him be better for us, I'm interested. If not, I don't have an interest.
"Would it suit Marc-Antoine to get a couple of games on loan? I am tempted to some extent to say 'yes, it would' and if we could get away with it it would be good for him.
"But this isn't the right moment in time."
Roman Bednar has also turned down the opportunity to make a temporary switch to an unnamed Championship club.
Hodgson confirmed: "We have had a couple of inquiries for Roman from the Championship but he doesn't want to go on loan.
"One or two Championship clubs have asked about him but he wanted to stay here."