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Ebbsfleet United striker Gozie Ugwu hails team-mates and fans after extending loan

13:10 08 March 2012

Gozie Ugwu

Gozie Ugwu

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Ebbsfleet United on-loan striker Gozie Ugwu relishing first team football with the Fleet after extending his loan spell with the club for a second month.

Ebbsfleet United striker Gozie Ugwu believes Stonebridge Road has been the perfect place for him to learn his trade.

The Reading loanee has impressed since joining Liam Daish’s side, scoring three goals in four games in his first 30 days before extending his stay by a further month on Monday.

And the 19-year-old believes his first exposure to first-team football has already taught him a lot more about the game than playing for the Royals’ reserves.

“It all came from a recommendation to the Ebbsfleet gaffer and it has been good to get some more game time under my belt,” Ugwu told The Reporter.

“I was happy to have an extension to the loan.

“Playing at this level has certainly allowed me to develop my physicality. I’m a lot sharper now and it’s been good exposure.

“Physically it is better than playing reserve-team games. It’s better to be playing first-team football.”

The Oxford-born youngster has been well received by the Fleet faithful and admits that has been a boost for his game.

“At my first home game against Southport it was great to hear the fans get behind me,” he said.

“It is nice to hear the positive feedback and it does give you a real boost when you are on the pitch. They all tweet in good things as well, which is nice.”

Ugwu has led the line alongside Callum Willock in recent weeks and believes he has learnt a lot from the former Fulham and Brentford frontman.

“Callum has been great,” he said. “When I am up top with him he is always talking to me.

“He knows what it takes to play at this level and he is always happy to offer advice.”

Ugwu helped move Ebbsfleet 15 points clear of the relegation zone with a 3-2 victory at Gateshead on Saturday.

Micky Cummins converted Craig Baxter’s cut-back to put the Heed in front, but Neil Barrett scored his first goal since rejoining the Fleet with a header to level the scores after 55 minutes.

Liam Enver-Marum then netted his ninth of the season after being teed up by Nathaniel Pinney’s cross before Ugwu converted from the penalty spot after being brought down by James Curtis.

The league’s leading goalscorer, Jon Shaw, netted his 29th of the season late on for Gateshead, but it was too late them to mount a comeback.

Boss Liam Daish was delighted to finally get a monkey off his back after the win at Gateshead was their first over a side in the top 10 this season.

“All the players were well aware of the statistic and I thought it was a deserved three points,” he said.

Fleet have no game this weekend as their scheduled opponents, Luton Town, are still in the FA Trophy. The fixture has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 17.

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