Colchester United's Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe keen to stay at Derry City

Derry City striker, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe looks to the sky in despair after missing a free header against St Pat's.
Derry City striker, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe looks to the sky in despair after missing a free header against St Pat's.
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JUNIOR Ogedi-Uzokwe has backed himself to find the net should he get another chance to play in the striker’s role after a frustrating night in front of goal at Inchicore.

The Londoner began Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat to St Pat’s on the left wing before taking up a more central role in the second half.

He was gifted three gilt-edged chances to get City back in the game and struck the post with one having beaten Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke with a snapshot.

The Colchester United striker cut a frustrated figure afterwards and was quick to shoulder the blame for the defeat.

However, he admits he enjoyed playing as City’s frontman in the absence of the substituted David Parkhouse, and fancies himself to make amends when he next gets the chance to play in his favoured position.

“I thought we should’ve got something in the end and it was probably my fault as I was a bit wasteful with chances.

“On another day we could’ve won it 2-1 or 3-1 but we have to take the positives from the second half.”

Substitute, Barry McNamee found Ogedi-Uzokwe with a beautifully crafted throughball on 69 minutes as Derry chased the game but his left-footed strike crashed off the bottom of the post.

Seven minutes later Ciaran Coll crossed superbly from the left wing and when Clarke misjudged the flight of the ball it struck Ogedi-Uzokwe on the chest and rolled behind for a goal kick. His best chance, however arrived late on from another brilliant delivery from Coll but he sent his diving header wide of the target.

“I did have a good few chances and to be fair I was enjoying myself, on another day I would’ve scored at least two goals.

“I enjoyed playing up front,” he added. “I got the chances but just didn’t score them. Next time I’ll definitely score,” he promised.

Junior has netted twice so far this season, against Longford in the EA Sports Cup and on his last visit to Richmond Park in a 3-1 win last month.

He’s settled in well on Foyleside and while he’s currently negotiating a possible extension to his loan deal with his parent club, he insists he would be happy to remain at Derry until the end of the season.

“I’ve settled well and it’s only getting better to be fair. I’m not sure what’s happening. I think I’ll probably be staying at Derry until the end of the season but I’m not sure what’s going on. I’m still contracted to Colchester. I’m enjoying it here and don’t mind if I stay here.”

The 25 year-old has had a somewhat nomadic career in the game with Derry being the 13th club he’s represented despite the fact he only started playing semi-professional football when he turned 18.

So is there any chance of him settling in League of Ireland football?

“I’ve had a lot of non league clubs. I started football quite late,” he explained. “I’ve been at Colchester now for a year and a half and before that I was in Cyprus for a year and a half.

“I’m enjoying my football at Derry. We look to play football the right way, always positive and on the floor and the manager encourages us to play the right way so it’s very good.

“It’s a very good standard and very physical but most teams try to play as well. It’s a good brand of football. If they didn’t play like this I don’t think I would’ve came here,” he admitted.

With derby rivals Finn Harps up next at Brandywell on Friday night, Ogedi-Uzokwe is desperate to bounce back from a run of poor results as City look for a first win in six matches.

“We’ve been unlucky most games. We’ve got a few draws and losses but we’ve been very unlucky. We have to keep going and hopefully get a result on Friday. It’s a very good game to bounce back.”