Odemwingie hails huge role supporters played in Villa fight-back
PETER Odemwingie has credited his dramatic equalising goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Villa to the supporters.
The Baggies fought back from 2-0 down to earn a point in their 160th game against the Villains, with the 31-year-old striker netting for the eighth time in a West Midlands derby seven minutes from time.
And the former Lokomotiv Moscow forward, who also helped create Chris Brunt’s 49th-minute strike, insists Steve Clarke’s outfit were spurred on by the sheer amount of noise created inside The Hawthorns.
“The gaffer said at half-time it was important to get the next goal and we felt that if we got the first goal, the crowd would score the second goal for us,” said Odemwingie.
“By scoring the next goal, to make it 2-1, you make everyone inside the stadium believe that you can get the equaliser, especially when you have another 40 minutes to score it.
“The fans believed we could equalise but our first goal made them even more hopeful.
“We started the game badly. That’s our mistake and we suffered for it.
“We paid the price but we showed a lot of character to get back into the game.
“We had 45 minutes to correct that and we are satisfied with the response.
“From the second-half kick-off, we pressed aggressively and tried to get an early goal.
“Forty minutes is a long time to score a goal and I was hoping for two more so we could win."
Odemwingie claims he was merely fulfilling his role in the team by volleying home Gareth McAuley's header.
“It’s my job to be stood in front of the keeper sniffing for a chance," he reflected.
“When the corner came in, I knew the ball could come back across as I was backing Gareth to win the header.
“I was ready for the ball before he headed it and that allowed me to score the goal.
“When you look at where we were after 45 minutes, I think we should be happy with the point.
“The gaffer said he thought they showed more desire than us in the first half.
“We weren’t lacking it but you need to show more than we did in the first half of a local derby.
“The gaffer didn’t shout, even though he had every right to.
“His words made a difference and I think we came out more aggressively in the second half.
“It was a good comeback and I even think, if the game had lasted another five minutes, we could have won.
“We kept attacking right to the end.
“It was a big, big relief to get the equaliser.
“There is no game this weekend so I don’t even want to think about how bad it would’ve been if we hadn’t got the point with such a big gap before our next game."