Odejayi pleased with early signs

KAYODE Odejayi could not have asked for much more than scoring two goals in Colchester United’s opening two games of the campaign.

KAYODE Odejayi could not have asked for much more than scoring two goals in Colchester United’s opening two games of the campaign.

Strikers are judged on their goals record, and Odejayi followed up his close-range goal in Saturday’s 4-2 win at Preston with a clinical header in Tuesday night’s Carling Cup first round tie at Wycombe.

Although the U’s eventually bowed out of the cup, beaten 5-4 on penalties after an entertaining 3-3 draw, Odejayi is impressed with the way that John Ward’s men have started the campaign.

“The boys are looking good,” enthused Odejayi.

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“The way we are playing, the way we are moving the ball and with the chances we are creating, I think it is very positive.

“Personally, I couldn’t have asked for a better start than two goals in two games.

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“A few of the other boys have scored as well, and it’s not just the goals but the way we have started these first two games that is so encouraging.

“We are playing some good stuff and have scored seven goals. And technically, we are still undefeated,” added Odejayi.

In addition to Odejayi, midfielder Anthony Wordsworth and wide-man Ian Henderson (two) were also on target at Preston, while Henderson again and substitute Steven Gillespie (a penalty) were amongst the goals at Adams Park.

A spectacular extra-time equaliser from home striker Stuart Beavon forced Tuesday night’s clash into a penalty shoot-out, during which U’s left-back Michael Rose had his spot kick saved.

But there were several plus marks for the visitors, not least a terrific show of character to bounce back from falling 2-0 behind after just 12 minutes, and also the sheer number of scoring chances created.

“Wycombe got a great start going two goals up, but without sounding biased, there was then really only one team in it, and that was us,” explained Odejayi.

“It was a great spectacle, and a great one for the neutrals, and from our point of view we showed good character, as we did on Saturday, to get back into the game.

“When you go 3-2 up and you are nearly half-way through the extra-time, you are beginning to feel that that might be enough.

“But Wycombe showed that they are also a decent side, and unfortunately we couldn’t see out the game.

“Nine times out of 10, Hendo (Henderson) would have scored late in the game (clean through on goal in injury-time), but the keeper (Nikki Bull) made a great save.

“Yet we had other chances as well to kill off the game.”

U’s boss Ward is continuing his search for a new striker, because Odejayi and Gillespie remain the only specialist senior strikers on the books.

Ex-Cheltenham target man Odejayi would welcome any new arrival.

He said: “I’m not complaining at the moment, because I am getting the minutes on the pitch.

“Gilly (Gillespie) is also a natural goalscorer, but it will be a good thing to bring in a new striker to increase the competition.”

The U’s entertain Wycombe Wanderers in their first home game of the season on Saturday, just four days after their Carling Cup clash.

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