I’m not a ‘lonely boy’ – Kayode Odejayi

KAYODE Odejayi has spent much of this season fighting a lone battle up front, but he’s warmed to the task.

KAYODE Odejayi has spent much of this season fighting a lone battle up front, but he’s warmed to the task.

There can’t be many strikers in League One who have played in every league and cup game, more often than not as a sole target man.

Colchester United front-man Odejayi has bucked the trend, and despite his terrific workload, he shows no signs of tiring.

The 29-year-old warhorse will lead the U’s attack again this afternoon, at home to in-form Bury, and once again he will have to do a lot of work on his own.

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Steven Gillespie’s one-match suspension denies manager John Ward the services of his only other natural striker, while winger Ashley Vincent is facing up to the prospect of a few weeks on the sidelines with a pulled hamstring.

Ward’s options are therefore limited. No wonder, then, that Odejayi must be the first name on the 60-year-old’s team-sheet, week-in, week-out.

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“I’ve started every league game, but I’m still feeling good,” insisted Odejayi.

“That’s got to be down to the training that I’m doing, and also looking after myself well.

“I’m happy getting a lot more starts this year, so from a personal point of view it’s been going well. Now I’m ready to kick on and keep my place in the team.

“I may not have had a regular out-and-out partner (up front), but we started well this season with a 4-3-3 formation, and I believe we are a positive side.

“Formations are so fluid in the game these days. You can set yourselves up as 4-3-3, but it’s never set in stone because of the movement of the game.

“I have great team-mates supporting me on the pitch, so I don’t feel that it’s just me up there on my own,” added Odejayi.

Nigerian-born Odejayi is set to make his 92nd league appearance for the U’s against Bury, who are four points and five places ahead of Ward’s men in 10th position.

The ex-Cheltenham and Barnsley front-runner has so far netted 17 goals in a U’s shirt, five of them this season, although he has failed to score in the last five outings.

And although the team have also suffered a mini-slump, with three defeats on the bounce against MK Dons and Carlisle in the league, and Swindon Town in the FA Cup, Odejayi remains in a positive mood.

“The results have been disappointing over the last three games, but we mustn’t feel sorry for ourselves,” continued Odejayi.

“We must dust ourselves down. We’ve got an opportunity to put it right this weekend. We have to do something about it.

“Three in a row makes it look bad, but it’s still only three games and there’s a lot of games to be played. It’s just a minor slump.

“The key to this is not to get carried away, not just with the negatives but with the positives as well. We didn’t get carried away by our good start.

“You’ve got to look upwards. There’s no point in looking downwards and being pessimistic, especially as we are only just coming up to half-way through. We have to aim to kick on after Christmas,” concluded Odejayi.

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