Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has continued his defence of under-fire West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie by claiming his only mistake in trying to leave The Hawthorns was ‘being too honest’.
Odemwingie was involved in one of the more bizarre incidents of the January transfer period when he travelled to London believing a successful medical was all that stood in the way of a successful move to Loftus Road.
However, an agreement could not be met between the two clubs – with even a loan move not enough of a sticking point – leaving the 31-year-old no option but to return to the Midlands.
Odemwingie, who has subsequently been dropped from the West Brom squad for the visit of Tottenham, faces another potential fine and has earned the ire of his manager, Steve Clarke, who described the Nigerian international’s actions as ‘total lunacy’.
But Redknapp remains a strong supporter of Odemwingie, believing the reaction over his endeavour to play for QPR has been blown out of proportion.
“There have been countless players guilty of doing things a million times worse than Peter Odemwingie,” Redknapp wrote in The Sun. “But from the stick he’s got over the past 48 hours, you would never believe it.
“And I really, genuinely hope that all those people having a pop at him now give the lad a break because, if he’s guilty of anything, it’s being too honest.”
Redknapp said Odemwingie had been caught in a catch-22 situation, although he admitted it was a mistake to appear at the club before a deal was finalised.
“We had got a price off West Brom, the kid himself thought it was all on and obviously so did his advisor,” Redknapp added. “So it wasn’t out of order for him to jump in his car and head to London.
“Peter just wanted to make sure he was in the London area so the deal could go through before that deadline. It would have looked even worse if it had fallen through because he hadn’t got here in time.”