Odion Ighalo.

Ighalo: Luton win was an important step for us

Wednesday 23 September 2020 07:00

Odion Ighalo believes Manchester United's 3-0 win over Luton Town can spur the team on to Premier League success against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend.

The Reds laboured a little to victory against the Hatters at Kenilworth Road, until late goals from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood added gloss to the scoreline.
But, afterwards, Ighalo was keen to pinpoint the confidence the squad will draw from getting our first win of the season.
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"It was a very tough game," said the Nigerian attacker. “We knew, from the start, that we were coming to play a tough side. We are happy we are going through to the next round - that is the most important thing.


“We've not started the league very well, but we've won today and I think it's a boost for this weekend's game against Brighton. We'll go there and try to win and start the Premier League [again].”
Ighalo felt that Crystal Palace's lengthier pre-season had a big impact on the result at the weekend, but says that the Reds are improving with every passing day.

“We were disappointed at the weekend because we didn't win the game against Crystal Palace," explained the striker. "We only had one week to prepare for that game; I think they had been preparing for four weeks. So it can tell a bit. But, now we've won this game, I think it's a boost for us. It gives us more confidence to go to this weekend's game. Hopefully we'll win this weekend and start on a good note in the Premier League.

“You can see we are getting fitter and everybody's getting the sharpness. Everyone's getting the game-time, getting fitter and fitter in every game. Now we go to the next game and have some minutes again and keep getting better and better.”

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The 31-year-old felt there were two key moments against Luton, in a game where the Championship side gave United a good contest.

“They defended very well," said Odion. “They know, if they give us the chance, that we're going to score goals, so I thought they defended very well. Towards the end, we got the goals.

“I think that [the penalty by Juan Mata] was the turning point, because when we started the game, we were pushing, pushing, and the goal didn't come. Fortunately we had that penalty and we got the goal, so it makes the team even more confident.”

Ighalo also reserved praise for Dean Henderson, making his United debut, who made a crucial save to deny Luton an equaliser in the second period.
“He's a good goalkeeper and he made that save and gave us the confidence to keep pushing," commented the loanee. "Like the gaffer said, we have to score more goals to finish the game, because 1-0 is never a [guaranteed] win. So that's why we were pushing to get more goals.
“You see when Mason [Greenwood] came in, and [Marcus] Rashford, you see that we had more speed up there, because they were a bit tired back there. So the goals came in. We are very happy we are through to the next round.”