West Brom boss Di Matteo: Odemwingie almost did not make it

West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto di Matteo admits it was touch-and-go whether Peter Odemwingie would play against Sunderland yesterday.

West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto di Matteo admits it was touch-and-go whether Peter Odemwingie would play against Sunderland yesterday.

Di Matteo's decision to throw him straight into the action worked wonders as he fired an 81st-minute winner on his Barclays Premier League debut.

"Peter only trained once with us yesterday so it was a bit of a gamble to start him today," said the Baggies boss. "We just thought we'd throw him in at the deep end and see how long he could last.

"He certainly gave us a threat up front.

"He's not just an individual player - he works hard for the team too. I took the gamble because he is a quality player. He has some ability and gives us something different.

"He showed that today and also scored, which is great for him. We've been tracking Peter for some time and it wasn't easy to get him.

"We also only got the international clearance for the deal late last night."

 
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