Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay says he has ‘enjoyed working’ with Peter Odemwingie just three months after signing the forward from West Bromwich Albion on transfer deadline day.
The manager gave his assessment of the Nigeria international ahead of Saturday’s visit of West Brom, where the 32-year-old forward spent three seasons, which culminated in a series of some sour events.
The former Bendel Insurance striker and Olympic Silver medalist became a media scape goat after driving to Loftus Road in an attempt to force through a move to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in January 2012.
“We did our home work on him,” Mackay said.
“Had he not been the right kind of person, I wouldn’t have brought him in.”
Odemwingie finally joined Cardiff on a two-year deal on the eve of September 2 for £2.5m after several bargains involving a host of top flight English clubs, at a time some managers were said to be doubtful of the forward’s confidence level and attitude following the shortfall of a failed move to QPR in the previous January window.
Mackay, however, reserves his unrivaled praise for Odemwingie, who has so far made 12 appearances for the ‘Bluebirds’ and scored twice, adding that:
“There was a lot of press around Peter concerning that January, in terms of his on-off transfer to QPR.
“He obviously took a lot of stick over that, but I can only speak about the lad that I know.
“I phoned up certain people who played with him and coached him and managed him and they were glowing.
“If they hadn’t been, that would have given me cause for concern.
“The boy I have met and I have here is articulate, he speaks four or five different languages, he is intelligent, he has smiled since the day he arrived here and he is very polite too.
“He is a talented footballer and definitely wants to do well for us.
“He has been a joy to work with and he wants to do the best he can for the club, so it has been a really good one for us.
Both Cardiff and West Brom are one and a couple of points above the drop zone on the 16th and 15th place in the standings ahead of Saturday’s meeting. The Welsh club are also on a five game winless streak.
Odemwingie once scored for West Brom to help eliminate his current employee from the FA Cup in a 4-2 win the last time both side met in the 2012/11 competition and may become the main attraction of this fixture should he grab a goal against his former employee (if started).