Manchester United of England striker, Odion Jude Ighalo has downplayed the bit-part role he has been forced to play with the club since extending his loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua of China in June, as he admits he can only get to lay regularly for The Red Devils if he works harder, megasportsarena.com reports.
After firing blanks in a starting role during Tuesday’s 3-0 victory over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup, Ighalo conceded that getting into United’s starting eleven or coming off the bench earlier than he is currently getting will depend largely on how well he can perform within the limited time he gets, which he says he now intends to do.
Rather than feel disillusioned at Old Trafford or think of moving on to get more action back at Shenhua or elsewhere, Ighalo added that he actually wants to stay at Old Trafford beyond when his extended contract runs out on January 31, 2021.
The former Super Eagles’ striker, who got a second short-term contract in June after dazzling for United in the UEFA Europa League, Carabao Cup and English FA Cup, in which he got four goals across all three competitions combined, is also hoping to help his team recover from last weekend’s 3-1 loss at home against Crystal Palace.
He admitted that getting a third deal with United will not come easy, as he will have to improve on what he is currently doing and work harder to get more playing time in each match that the plays henceforth, all of which would enhance his chances of being retained by the club he first joined in February this year but says he has been supporting since he was a child in Ajegunle.
Ighalo told BBC’s Mimi Fawaz: “It’s my darling team, I’d like to stay but that does not depend on me, it depends on what I do, how I work and people up there but now I don’t want to think about that.
“Now it’s for us to grind from now till whenever. It’s a club I supported from when I was young and I’m always grateful to God that this is my dream and I’m living it and nothing else matters.”
The former Super Eagles’ striker, who was involved for 78 minutes of United’s 3-0 win over Luton Town in the Carabao Cup,to set up a fourth round clash against Brighton & Hove Albion, went on to fire himself up ahead of his side’s next match against the same club.
Heading into this weekend’s clash with The Seagulls, the 31-year-old former Super Eagles’ star, who was a late substitute in United’s EPL season opener against Crystal Palace, which his side lost 3-1 at Old Trafford, posited that The Red Devils are fitter and sharper, which he believes are basic factors that would lead them to victory in Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff at Amex Stadium.
Ighalo assured that they learnt a lot from their struggles against Luton and told his club’s official website: “It was a very tough game. We knew, from the start, that we were coming to play a tough side. We are happy we are going through to the next round – that is the most important thing.”