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Interviews

INTERVIEW: I just want to help the team

Striker Olufela Olomola on the Salford and Rochdale games

27 August 2019

Forward Olufela Olomola revealed after the game on Saturday that his seventh minute strike against Salford City, his second goal for the Blues, was the first senior goal he’d scored with his head, and he was quick to point out that the quality of the delivery from Nathan Thomas had gone a long way to making the moment possible.

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“Nath has got great quality so whenever he’s got the ball I always try and make runs into the box,” he said. “Luckily he found me with his cross. I think that might be my first ever professional goal with my head, so that’s a nice thing to tick off.

“If it’s a header, a tap-in or a screamer, I’m happy to score. Scoring is scoring, but I’m obviously delighted to have got another goal. I just want to keep scoring because like I said when I first arrived, I just want to help the team in whatever way I can.”

Speaking more about the goal itself, he told us: “As the ball came in I just locked my eyes on it. I knew I just needed to flick it on because it already had quite a bit of pace on it. All it needed was a touch and I was lucky enough to see it go in.

“I came here to play games and score goals so whenever I’m doing that, I’m always happy. As a striker it’s important to get goals because ultimately that’s what you’re judged on. You can play well but if you don’t score then you’ll always have that question mark against your name.

“I’m delighted to have got two already, but I’m also looking for the team to pick up more points. The consistency of the team is the most important thing, and I want to put in performances to help us win games. I’m delighted on a personal note with how I’m playing, but I still think there’s more to come from me to help the team win these games as well.”

“There are strikers out there who can go through a game without really being involved and still get a goal but, with the type of player I am, I need to be involved in the game because I think that’s when I’m at my best,” he added. “When I’m getting on the ball and I’m involved in the play that’s when I seem to score goals, so it’s important that I do that for myself and for the team.

“I enjoy playing with good players and we’ve got a great team here. We’re all on the same wavelength and we’ll all get better the more we play with each other. The understanding and our relationships will just keep improving.

“We’ve got great options in the squad. Whether I’m playing with Hallam [Hope], Nath [Thomas], Harry [McKirdy] or Elias [Sorensen], whoever is playing has got great quality. I’m looking forward to playing with all of them more and more.”

With the team striving for that important second league victory, he said: “Football is all about fine margins and, apart from the Swindon game, I think we’ve been the better team in all the games we’ve played so far.

“It’s those fine margins that have been letting us down. It was important to get a point on the board at the weekend after the two defeats, but we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three points.

“It’s also important to stay positive because we haven’t been beaten by a better team, it’s just sloppy errors here and there that have cost us. I think as soon as we eradicate those we’ll be right up there.”

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Salford City home game

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His substitution just before the hour mark on Saturday brought another great ovation from the crowd, and admitted that the support from the terraces has been a big factor in helping him to settle in Cumbria so quickly.

“It’s a special feeling when you get applauded off by the fans,” he said. “I just want to keep scoring goals and keep making the fans happy.

“I wasn’t angry to be brought off or anything, of course I want to be out there all the time, but I’ll always respect the gaffer’s decisions. Subs are always the manager’s decision and I’d never argue with that.

“I know I still need to work on my match fitness so I can last longer in games, and that’s something I’m working on.

“I’m really enjoying my time here and everyone has been so welcoming. When you’re at a place where you feel like you’re wanted, and everybody wants you, it makes a massive difference to your confidence and how you play.

“I’m sharing a room in the house with Jack [Bridge] and Mo [Sagaf], so we’ve kind of been forced to get to like each other, but we all get along really well. I think that kind of thing helps with the team chemistry and brings us all closer as a group. I’m the chef in the house and I’m definitely the best, I make a mean Bolognese.”

Next in United’s busy schedule is tonight’s Carabao Cup game against Rochdale.

“We’re all looking forward to the game,” he told us. “We want to go on a good cup run and it’s something we wanted to do well in at the start of the season. We know it will be different to the Barnsley game.

“As long as we play to our strengths and do what we’re good at I think we can win. Hopefully I get the nod to play, and if I do I’ll give it everything. I’ve never actually been on a cup run before so it would be something special.

“We’ve had a lot of games recently but this is why I love football. Everybody wants to be playing matches, so I always enjoy when the games come thick and fast. I’m raring to go and I can’t wait for the game.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Olufela Olomola on iFollow United now.

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