McAuley and Foster insist striker has huge part to playALBION duo Gareth McAuley and Ben Foster insist Peter Odemwingie still has a huge part to play for the team during the final 12 games of the season.
The Baggies striker is back in training and watched from the sidelines at Anfield as Steve Clarke’s men beat Liverpool 2-0 on Monday night.
And McAuley is ready to move on and welcome back into first-team action the player who has been the club’s top Barclays Premier League goalscorer in the last two seasons.
“Once you get on the pitch you forget about other things,” said the Northern Ireland defender.
“But it’s been well-documented and it was just important that we got back on the pitch and people started talking about things other than what was happening off the pitch.
“That’s what we can do. When we’re out there and everyone is pulling together we’re a good side.
“We need Pete. We need him back on the pitch, playing and scoring goals for us.
“He’s had a few days off while things were going on so he only trained really for one day last week and he needs to get training again.
“He will get training again now and hopefully soon he’ll be involved in the games and scoring goals for us again.”
Foster added: “The lads realise that if Pete is on the pitch, playing well and scoring goals, everyone benefits from it.
“That’s how we’re looking at it.
“Everything is fine. The line has been drawn and now we’re back talking about football.
“Monday was an important win for us and an important clean sheet to get that feel-good factor going again.
“There are people who you work with that you see more than your family so you have to get on with people.
“You get to know them and their family.
“Peter is an important part of our team.
“When he’s on form he’s an absolute world-beater, so we will welcome him back into the squad with no qualms whatsoever.
“And I’m sure he will join in and give 110 per cent like he always does.
“What happened was really unfortunate.
“I don’t think anybody expected to see what they saw but we’ve moved on from it now and I don’t think anybody even talks about it.
“Peter is back in training, doing what he always does, and hopefully he will start to get more involved and things will be back to normal.”