Odion Ighalo has vowed to seize his opportunity to impress with Manchester United, stating “I will give my blood” to make the most of his time with the club.
Signed on deadline day in January on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season, the 30-year-old striker has already made an impact for the Red Devils.
Having appeared as a substitute in Premier League wins over Chelsea and Watford, Ighalo marked his first start for United with his first goal in Thursday’s 5-0 defeat of Club Brugge at Old Trafford in the second leg of the Europa League last-32 tie.
The Nigerian is likely to be involved in Sunday’s game against Everton, with Marcus Rashford still sidelined with a back injury and Anthony Martial facing a late fitness test on the muscle problem that kept him out of the Brugge game.
Ighalo, who has enjoyed his short time with United so far, has promised to give his all if he is handed another chance in the team.
“Of course. This is what I am working for. This is what I dream of and what I dreamt of when I was a kid. Now it is in my hands, so I have to fight for it. I will give my blood to get it,” he told United’s website.
“I am still working hard in every training session and doing some extra to make sure I get up to the level. When I’m called upon, I will give my best.”
He continued: “It’s been great here. The lads are all great guys. It’s a happy dressing room. The coach and everyone around the club make me feel at home. I’m really enjoying my time here.
“We have quality players in the team. Martial is on fire, scoring goals. Bruno [Fernandes] is doing well, [Daniel] James too, everybody from the goalkeeper to the top is working really hard. So, I think this is very good for the team. We need to keep the momentum going and keep winning games and fighting in every match, to make sure we get our objectives at the end of the season.”
Ighalo, who expects “a tough game” against Everton, got a goal on his Premier League debut for Watford at Goodison Park back in 2015.
“It was 2-2 and I played my first game in the Premier League – and scored a goal! I was happy,” he recalled. “If I have the opportunity to go back again there, it will be very good.
“Every game, from now on, is going to be tough for United because it’s the second half of the season.
“Some teams are fighting to stay in the league, some are fighting to go to the Champions League and some into Europe. Every game is going to be tough from now on. But this team is a big team. We have what it takes to win games, to win games home and away.”
Organisers Explain 2021 NSF Postponement
The 21st edition of National Sports Festival earlier scheduled for November 2 to 15, 2022, in Asaba, Delta State, will now hold from November 28 to December 10, 2022.
According to a statement by the Festival Secretary, Peter Nelson, and addressed to all Commissioners of Sports and Directors of Sports, the postponement was at the request of the host, Delta State.
“I wish to convey the request of Delta State Government to shift the date of the 21st National Sports Festival earlier scheduled to hold from November 2 to 15, 2022.
“It is now shifted to start on November 28 to December 10, 2022.
“The reason for the postponement is to give Delta State more time to complete some of the facilities needed for the festival,” the statement reads.
It will be recalled that the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival held in Benin City, Edo State, which was tagged: “Edo 2020,” also suffered several postponements until it finally held from April 2 to 14.
Nigeria Must Embrace Grassroots Sports Dev – Amusan
Women’S 100 metres hurdles world record holder, Tobi Amusan, believes that grassroots development programmes and top-notch training will help the country discover more athletics world champions.
Speaking in Lagos at a dinner organised in her honour by The Plug, an entertainment firm, tagged ‘Tobi Amusan’s Homecoming,’ she blamed the exodus of the Nigeria’s top athletes to other countries to what such nations offer the athletes.
“Grassroots sports development is something we lack here and the reason we often lose our top athletes to other countries of the world.
“From my experience training in the United States, if we can have such development here, we can groom young talents and unearth more Tobi Amusans,” she said.
On the recent ratification of her record by World Athletics, Amusan said: “That my world record was ratified by the world body means that I am drug free and that I am clean. I feel great about it. Every time I am on the track, my eyes are always set on how to win and I execute it by winning.”
She also spoke on the recent reception by the Federal Government, saying, “It is great feeling that we were recognised by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In as much as we did the work, it was an honour that they took into account and they recognised the fact that we did the nation proud. It is such a great feeling getting the national honour.”
She acknowledged the support she got after her world record feat, with her followers on Twitter rising from 3000 to 150,000 under 24 hours, saying it showed that people appreciate what she is doing.
On the criticism by men’s 400 metres world record holder, Michael Johnson, after her record breaking race in Oregon, U.S, Amusan said she was not bothered. “Honestly, I kept doing my thing because after the World Championships, I had other competitions to attend. I don’t dwell on negativity… I look on the bright side of the sport.”
At the event, Flutterwave, which used the occasion to declare it has signed a multi-year partnership deal with Amusan, said: “It is very difficult to find athletes who embody our core values the way Tobi does.”
YSFON : Academy Coach Begs For Assistance
The Head coach of the De Kings International Football Academy (DKIFA) of Port Harcourt Okpaleke Chika King is begging the Rivers State ministry of Sports, private and corporate individuals and all lovers of football for financial support to assist his team represent the state in Youth Sports Federation Of Nigeria (YSFON) competition.
He said that his team was representing Rivers state at the ongoing Chief of Naval Staff National (YSFON) Competition in Ilorin, Kwara State. He said he had written a letter to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals for assistance.
King made the assertion on Saturday in an exclusive interview with Tidesports in Port Harcourt before leaving for Kwara state.
According to him he had nothing to do than to borrow money for the journey believing that when the State’s Commissioner for Sports sees the letter he would not fail to respond to it.
“ As you can see, my boys are ready for the competition but we lack support.
“ I have written to the Ministry of Sports and also to some private individuals to assist us but I have not gotten any reply, yet.
By: Kiadum Edookor
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