Danny Higginbotham hails Peter Odemwingie signing

Peter Odemwingie of Stoke shoots past goalkeeper Brad Guzan of Aston Villa to score a goal during the Barclays Premier League match on March 23, 2014
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Former Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham says that Peter Odemwingie's arrival has helped the club reverse their negative early season form.

Danny Higginbotham believes that the addition of Peter Odemwingie has been a major factor behind Stoke City's upturn in form over recent weeks.

The Nigerian winger arrived at the Britannia Stadium from Cardiff City during the January transfer window in a switch that saw Kenwyne Jones move in the opposite direction.

In his nine appearances for the Potters, Odemwingie has scored four goals, which has coincided with a run of positive results that has seen Mark Hughes's team leap up to 10th in the Premier League.

Reflecting on that elevation, former Stoker defender Higginbotham has told Sports Mole that the 32-year-old's influence should not be underestimated.

"Earlier in the season, I said that the formation and style was changed too quickly. They didn't have an abundance of pace in the team and either Peter Crouch or Kenwyne Jones ended up being isolated up front - the midfielders couldn't get there," he said. "Now, bringing in Peter Odemwingie, you saw with one of the goals against Villa [last weekend] a perfect example. The ball went up to Crouch, who flicked on to Odemwingie and he left two or three players behind him to put the ball into the net.

"The full-backs are now starting to get involved as well. Erik Pieters set a goal up at Villa and Geoff Cameron scored, but they are also being covered by the defensive midfield players. They've got a great opportunity now to finish within the top 10 and the team really is starting to evolve.

"The players have adapted [to Hughes's tactics], while the addition of Odemwingie has made a big difference. He gives the side that extra boost of pace."

Next Saturday, Stoke will travel to title-chasing Chelsea.

Peter Odemwingie of Stoke City scores during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Hull City at Britannia Stadium on March 29, 2014
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