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Pre Leyton Orient | Dan Udoh

21 September 2023


Pre Leyton Orient | Dan Udoh

21 September 2023

Dan Udoh previewed Town's trip to face Leyton Orient this weekend.

Salop travel to London looking for their first win of September as they take on newly promoted Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.

Dan returned from a 10-month ACL injury back in July and netted his first goal of the season away at Fleetwood, but George Nurse's luck hasn't been as good - with the defender picking up another ACL injury in July having also just returned.

One of four strikers competing for places, Dan discussed working with Ryan Bowman, Max Mata and Kieran Phillips as well as previewing this weekend's trip to London.

On returning from injury:

"I'm definitely enjoying being back and being a footballer.

"I'm grateful to God that I'm back here doing what I want to do and enjoy doing, being back among the boys.

"It was painful for me and George (Nurse), watching on from the stands and we couldn't really do much to help out.

"This year, I get the chance to try and do my best and try to help the team."

"You still get a bit nervous, especially in the pre-season games you're a bit worried about your knee and people tackling you and stuff.

"But then by the time you get a whack from one of the ugly defenders, you roll and you get back up you know that you're fine.

"You almost have to switch off from fear to put your imprint on things and try to impact games better.

"Since then, it's been all good. 

"I'm still getting used to playing Saturday-Tuesdays and stuff like that."

On George Nurse's second injury:

"When we heard the news that he had done his knee again we were all gutted. It brought me to tears, I'm not going to lie.

"You don't want that to happen to any of your teammates but least of all me or George in the year we're coming back.

"I know George, I know he's mentally strong and he's young enough that the future ahead of him is good.

"I'm definitely willing him back and I'll be praying for him. I'll be with him in the gym whenever he needs help.

"Same for Shipperz (Jordan Shipley) even though his [injury] is shorter and Thorpey (Elliot Thorpe) as well.

"Because of my injury last year and the support we got from the boys, the manager and everyone - which the boys are getting this year - I'm here for them even more now.

"They'll definitely be back."

On his goal at Fleetwood:

"I was just relieved it went in the back of the net!

"It was a long way to run so you start thinking of different things like do I go round him like the one on Tuesday or do I stay calm and just slot it past him. 

"It's almost that feeling that you can do what you're good at again because it's been so long since you did it.

"You just need that one to give you the confidence you need.

"Now I just need to go again to get more goals to help the team.

"Me, as a striker, I like to get as many goals as possible to help the team get higher up in the table and give us all that confidence.

"Now that's the challenge in the next game, in the next few weeks as the strikers and collectively as a team: to score more goals."

On the season so far:

"It's still early days but you want to stamp your authority early on and let people know you're a team to be reckoned with.

"It's down to us now as a group, staff and players, to take on board what the staff are telling us and implement it into the games and win games because that's our bread and butter.

"Giving the fans the enjoyment of football that they want to see and scoring goals.

"For me, one of the things I missed when I was injured was fans and when the boys went on that run of six wins in a row, seeing how much joy that brought to the fans and the community because more people were coming to the games.

"If we can do that, we make the Croud Meadow bounce again."

On the competition for places:

"I said to Max (Mata) the other day that he's come a long way to play football so he needs to make sure he's pushing to take mine or (Ryan) Bowman's top, and Bowman needs to take mine or Max's top - and the same for Kieran (Phillips).

"That's the only way we're going to get better. If there's one person playing every week, it's not going to push the standards.

"If you're playing or not playing, you need to push the standards to make us better players because when you go to the bigger clubs, that's what it's like.

"We need to do that here and give the head coach a headache."

On Leyton Orient:

"It'll be a tough game like it always is, especially with Leyton Orient being promoted they'll still have that buzz.

"They've started really well and they've got really good players but it's down to us now.

"Fleetwood was our last win so we need to get a win and back ourselves to get up the table and be better.

"100%, it'll be a tough game."

On Omar Beckles:

"He's one of the people that sums up Leyton Orient and that it's going to be a tough battle.

"Omar, whenever I've played against him in training at Crewe or here, it's always a tough battle.

"Saturday is going to be another tough battle that we need to stand off and be counted for.

"I need to get myself a goal or maybe two for September and then go again in October."

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