ODION’S TICKET TO THE PRE­MIER

Wat­ford ace seeks star role in top-flight

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Sam El­liott

HIS first name is sim­i­lar to a well-known cinema chain – and Odion Ighalo wants to be big box of­fice in the Pre­mier League with Wat­ford.

The Nige­rian striker is the most in-form for­ward in the coun­try right now – with 12 goals in his last eight league games – and he re­vealed West Bromwich Al­bion made a move for him late in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

Win­ner

The 25-year-old con­fesses he doesn’t know if his long-term fu­ture lies at Vicarage Road but there is mu­sic to Wat­ford fans’ ears: he be­lieve they will win pro­mo­tion.

His in­jury-time win­ner buried Brent­ford on Tues­day night and with 11 Cham­pi­onship goals al­ready in 2015, the for­mer Udi­nese man reck­ons he is now get­ting used to life in Eng­land.

He told The FLP: “I’m happy be­cause I am in a good mo­ment - prob­a­bly the best mo­ment that I have ever had.

“I have not been in form such as this in my ca­reer to date, but I feel like this is only the be­gin­ning. I have a lot more in me and that’s a good feel­ing.

“I have to keep on work­ing, when I was not scor­ing I had the same at­ti­tude. Just be­cause you are get­ting goals to your name now it doesn’t mean you stop.

“I want to keep my head high, it’s a good record but I don’t mind not scor­ing as long as things are good for the team.

Dif­fi­cult

“I have played in Nor­way, in Italy and in Spain but be­ing in Eng­land and in the Cham­pi­onship is such a dif­fer­ent game – you have to run from the first minute to the 90th and it’s so hard.

It was dif­fi­cult for me to adapt in the be­gin­ning but now I am find­ing my feet and grow­ing into it. It’s ex­cit­ing.”

With such im­pres­sive form, it’s a good job for the Hor­nets that the trans­fer win­dow has slammed shut. Tony Pulis wanted the for­ward at West Brom and, with Hull City also linked, he could be in the top flight next sea­son with or with­out Wat­ford. But Ighalo feels pro­mo­tion is more than a pos­si­bil­ity.

He added: “I have a con­tract here un­til 2017, and I am a Wat- ford player for now. I don’t know what will hap­pen af­ter that. Dur­ing the trans­fer win­dow some Pre­mier League clubs came in for me, West Brom was one. It is my dream to play in the Pre­mier League but I do know that my heart is with Wat­ford now and we will gain pro­mo­tion.

“I think we will, but we must work hard and con­tinue to fight to­gether. We have a good team, one good enough to go up, but we can’t re­lax.”

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