'I have to prove myself... but I think I can make a difference in the first-team' - Folami's Ipswich Town aim
PUBLISHED: 10:30 13 November 2019
Striker Ben Folami believes he has what it takes to make an impact in League One this season but knows he still has work to do to convince Paul Lambert he's worthy of a place.
The Australian started the 1-0 loss at Colchester in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday evening, completing his return from an eight-month lay-off following a nasty Achilles injury suffered in an Under 23 game with Cardiff in January.
You have to go back to April 2018 to find Folami's last senior appearance, the 4-0 away win at Reading, but now he's back in action the 20-year is keen to make an impact in the first-team and add to his five previous appearances.
"I have to come back in and prove myself," said Folami, who has been training regularly with Lambert's first-team.
"I did that before with Mick McCarthy and that took a lot of convincing and I've still got a long way to go to convince Paul Lambert. I'm really grateful he's given me and opportunity.
"It's been tough for me because when Paul Hurst came in I was in the picture and then out of the picture quite quickly," he continued.
"Then the injury happened but I'm over that now and I'm looking to get more and more involved with the first team.
"There are opportunities for me and every opportunity I get I have to take it.
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"I'm grateful to the gaffer to get the chance because he is giving them, so it's then up to us to take them.
"I think I can (make an impact in the league) if I work and train hard and give myself the opportunity I think I can make a difference in the first-team.
"There are some experienced strikers here to learn from and getting to train with them is great for me because I can see them doing things that I'm not and learn from that.
"It's about becoming more professional and adding that to my game."
Reflecting on his injury lay-off, Folami said: "It was a terrible time but I'm over it now and looking ahead.
"I've learnt from it, being out for so long and it can get lonely, but I'm just happy to get through it thanks to the physio staff.
"There have been no problems and that's behind me now."
The Blues were able to hold Folami back from international duty with Australia's Under 23s to ensure he could be involved in the loss to the U's, but he's now heading to China for two games in four days before returning to Suffolk.