By Johnny Edward:
Fit-again Stoke City striker Peter Osaze Odemwingie has stated he will love to earn a new contract at the Brittania Stadium based on merit and not on sentiments, Stoke Sentinel reports.
The former Cardiff City star made his comeback in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Sunderland after eight months out with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
“I have been training well and am 100 per cent now,” Odemwingie stated.
“But I need to test myself and I don’t want it (a new deal) to be a sentimental decision. I want to prove my fitness and prove that I can help this team a lot. That’s what I’m doing, not pushing talks. It would be excellent for me to stay and continue from where I left off.
“I really enjoy working with the manager and staff, working at the training ground with the atmosphere, and especially at the stadium.
“The fans have also encouraged me and hopefully, I will be scoring a goal before the end of the season.
“If I can do well and the manager sees me as someone who can help the club, then I am happy to stay.
“But I don’t want it to be on sentiment, I want it to be on merit.”
Odemwingie stressed the healthy relationship he enjoys with Mark Hughes and relishes the faith the Stoke boss has shown in him.
“I feel I am even better since I came on for 10 minutes on Saturday, so I think I will only get better and then we will have that talk.”
He however hopes to follow up his cameo against Sunderland on Saturday with another run out in the latter stages of Saturday’s trip to Swansea and also confident that Stoke will top the 50 points gained by the end of his debut campaign with the club 12 months ago after already reaching 47 with four fixtures to go.
“On their day they can beat any team in the country,” he warned, “and they have had a few good results lately.
“I will hopefully play a few more minutes on Saturday and maybe 45 minutes for the reserves next week to really test my knee.
“But it is very good. Even since the game my knee has improved.
“I’ve had a couple of good training sessions with five v five, which are the hardest, so hopefully I will get a few more minutes in the next couple of games.”
“It’s another great season,” he stated. “When I was on the sidelines looking at results I was really pleased for the team.
“We lost Bojan (in January) and myself, but even with our absences we have still done well.
“We also want another win for 14 and the best we have ever had in a season. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that last week, but hopefully we will still do it and that will be another great achievement for us.”