Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says he is not bothered about those doubting his potential after signing for the Red Devils on transfer deadline day. The Nigerian added that so far he has the belief of his team-mates, manager, and fans he will continue to give his best to the club.
Ighalo made this known during an interview after scoring a brace in United’s 3-0 win over Derby County in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday night. The 30-year-old has now scored three goals in just two starts and six appearances for his boyhood club.
United opened the scoring in the 33rd minute thanks to Luke Shaw’s volley, Ighalo fired home his side’s second in the 41st minute before wrapping up the victory with a thumping finish into the roof of the net after his first effort was blocked on the line in the 70th minute.
Reacting to doubters that initially questioned United’s decision to sign him, Ighalo said he is proving his worth that he is a goal machine, noting that he will continue to prove those questioning his ability wrong.
“I am happy. I want to congratulate the team for a hard-fought game,” Ighalo told BT Sport.
“As long as my team-mates believe in me, the boss believes in me and the fans believe in me, I just have to keep going. I don’t care what anyone says.”
Speaking further, Ighalo said: “I am happy to be around this game team, great lads and great manager, I am happy and we are working hard.
“We know we need to win the game to go through to do important things this season and end the season well. The start was not the best we can do but after 20-25 minutes we got into the game.
“I used my strength and I am happy the ball went in. For the second, they blocked it then there is nothing I can do apart from shoot.
“I had another shot but did not connect well but the most important thing is that we won. We want to keep the momentum going and make sure we do great this season.”
Speaking during his post-match press conference, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer commended Ighalo for his goal instinct and the ability to play with the team in a matter of short time. He added that the Nigerian is showing he is “vital” for the side since they lost Marcus Rashford to back injury.
“He is doing what it says on the tin and what we asked for when we signed him,” Solskjaer said.
“He is coming in, playing up front, and he’s a different type of striker. He scores, he gets chances every game and today he could have had another couple. I am very happy with him. It gives us a chance with Mason [Greenwood] and Anthony [Martial] to keep them fresh as well.
“He is experienced and he has scored goals all of his career. He is in and around the box, he reads it, he sniffs out where the chances will come. I think that striker is vital for a team.”
The United boss noted that Ighalo can teach the younger strikers and they can also learn from him.
“There is more to come,” Solskjaer added. “He will improve, he will get sharper and more used to us. I have no doubt that he will only get better.
United will host City in the Manchester derby in the Premier League on Sunday before travelling to face Norwich City in the FA Cup quarter-finals on March 21.