‘I block everything out’ – Colchester United’s Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 February 2018

That winning feeling: Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (second left) is congratulated by team-mates Mikael Mandron, Courtney Senior and Brandon Comley, after giving the U's a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win over Coventry on Tuesday evening.  Picture: STEVE WALLER

That winning feeling: Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (second left) is congratulated by team-mates Mikael Mandron, Courtney Senior and Brandon Comley, after giving the U's a 1-0 lead from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win over Coventry on Tuesday evening. Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe could not have hoped for a better first-ever start in the Football League, and he is promising more to come.

Penalty: Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe goes down in the area, under Rod McDonald's challenge, before scoring from the spot.  Picture: STEVE WALLERPenalty: Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe goes down in the area, under Rod McDonald's challenge, before scoring from the spot. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Front-runner Ogedi-Uzokwe was plying his trade in the Bostik (Isthmian) North, step four of non-league, with Maldon & Tiptree before his move to Colchester United last month.

It was the 23-year-old’s big chance to make a name for himself, as a professional footballer, and he marked his full League debut with a goal and a late assist in the U’s 2-1 home win over Coventry City on Tuesday night.

“It’s been a great night for me,” enthused Ogedi-Uzokwe.

“I’m glad to make an impact, and that the gaffer (John McGreal) had faith in me.

“He said to me that I was starting, and told me to see what I could do.

“Now I hope to keep doing it, and to score more goals.”

Ogedi-Uzokwe was handed a surprise first start, ahead of transfer deadline day signing Liam Mandeville, after Kurtis Guthrie suffered an ankle injury during last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Carlisle.

- A glorious debut

And the former Jammers marksman responded by winning a penalty, and then scoring from the spot, to give the U’s a 27th minute lead against Coventry, before providing an inch-perfect cross for Mikael Mandron to head home an 88th minute winner.

“I was pulled back for the penalty. I thought I could reach the ball, but he (defender Rod McDonald) held me back.

“I thought that because I won the penalty, then I should take it as well.

“I always fancy myself from penalties. When it comes to taking them, I have confidence.

“I always think that I am going to score from penalties, like I did for Maldon & Tiptree.

“I just make sure that I manage to block everything out. I just think that I’m playing in the park with my friends!”

With regards his late assist, for his strike-force partner Mandron, Ogedi-Uzokwe said: “I do set up quite a few assists, though I don’t count them, while as a striker you always count your goals.

“I just floated it into the box for Mika (Mandron) to score.”

Ogedi-Uzokwe will look to make a similar impact when the U’s travel to struggling Crewe Alexandra this Saturday.

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