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Ighalo Happy To Prove Critics Wrong

Nigeria international relishing the prospect of keeping Watford afloat in England’s elite football division

With five goals already in the kitty after eight games in the English Premier League, Odion Ighalo, reckons he
is beginning to silence critics who didn’t believe he could re-enact his Championship feat of last season in the top flight.

The striker, who has scored 20 goals in 2015 to make him the most prolific player in all four divisions of
English football, has helped Watford to wins over Newcastle and Swansea and four draws including the 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth on Saturday.

However, the 26-year-old is not getting carried away with his five EPL goals this season and insists he is happy to prove critics who suggested he might struggle in England’s top league wrong.

“I scored 20 goals in the Championship last season and a lot of people doubted I could score goals in the Premier League so it is nice to prove them wrong,” he said.

“I am happy that I have scored five goals so far, but it is not about me and my goals — the team is the
most important.

“If I don’t score and we win I am happy because the three points are more important than me scoring goals.”

Ighalo believes the Watford, who currently sit 13th in the standings, are good enough to stay in the Premier League after losing only two of their opening eight games.

Watford were tipped to struggle in the Premier League this season after bringing in Quique Sanchez Flores to replace Slavisa Jokanovic and undergoing a massive squad overhaul.

“We knew it was not going to be easy in the Premier League, but we are happy with our start,” Ighalo told ESPN FC. “I believe we have a team that can avoid relegation. “If we stay focused and keepworking hard in every game, I know we can stay up.”

Despite his rich vein of form, Ighalo, whose goal saved Watford from defeat in Saturday’s Premier League game against Bournemouth, is trying not to put any additional pressure on himself. “I don’t have any goal-scoring targets at all,” he said. “All I want to do is continue to work hard.”

The Nigeria international had the opportunity to leave Watford for a big money move to China in the summer but signed a new five-year deal in July. “Even though I had the chance to go to China this summer I never really thought about it as I wanted to stay at Watford,” he said. “I am really happy here.

The fans love me, and I love them too.  “It was always my dream to play in the Premier League as a kid, so there was no way I was going to give up on that.”


–  Oladipo Okubanjo

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