Ighalo waiting for his opportunity
Odion Ighalo is waiting for another opportunity to get off the mark for Manchester United in the Premier League, and it could come at Newcastle United on Saturday night.
The Nigerian came off the bench in the season opener against Crystal Palace but was not among the substitutes for the subsequent top-flight matches with Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur.
However, he started the Carabao Cup victories, at Luton Town and Brighton, and is likely to come into manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's thinking at the weekend, with fellow forwards Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani both unavailable.
“I’m always ready," he told us. “Whenever the gaffer calls me, my idea is just to give my best in training, work hard and wait for my opportunity – to take it.
“Hopefully, I’ll just keep my head down, keep working hard every day. Come to the training ground every day and give it my best. Whenever the gaffer needs me, I will come and give my best.”
Newcastle have had a decent start to 2020/21 and will be awkward opponents under former Reds captain Steve Bruce. However, United need another win on the road to offer the perfect response to the defeat to Tottenham last time out.
"We are working hard and looking forward to it," added Ighalo. “We’ve been training hard. Those of us who did not go to the international teams have been working seriously hard.
“Everyone is in top shape and, when those who have been in the international teams are all back, I think we are in good heart to win the game. I know we didn’t start the season well so we’ll try to start from this weekend and try to win the game to kick the season off.”
Cavani's arrival will increase the competition for places in attack but Ighalo believes the former Paris Saint-Germain striker, as well as new full-back Alex Telles and young winger Facundo Pellistri, will boost the squad and improve everybody's output.
"It's good for the team, for everybody to be on their toes to work hard," said Odion.
“For a big team, like Manchester United, you have to have competition for players to do well and I welcome the new guys coming in. They will bring more challenges to everyone in the team, to work hard for their positions to play in the team.”