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first_img Fulham are positioned at the foot of the table four points adrift of safety but Magath, who replaced the axed René Meulensteen on February 14, views only one outcome at the end of the season. “This job is not tougher than I expected it to be. I knew that it would be a difficult job and it is,” he said. “But I don’t worry about that, I’m happy to be here. I’m looking forward and I’m convinced we’ll stay in the league. “I’m not looking at next season because we have to realise that we may not be staying in the Premier League, but I’m convinced that we will.” Should Fulham’s 13-season stay in the top flight come to an end in May, Magath insists he will remain at Craven Cottage. “I’m sure I will still be here, wherever the club is. I’m happy here and want to stay,” he said. Fulham have won just one of their last 13 Premier League games and have secured just 13 points at Craven Cottage all season. In contrast, Champions League-chasing Everton have won their last four matches. “Everton are in good shape, we’ve seen their result at Newcastle last weekend (winning 3-0). It will be our most difficult game here at Craven Cottage,” Magath said. “I don’t think about the other teams because we know we have to win games, otherwise we have no chance of staying in the league. “We have to win because we are a few points adrift, so we need more points than the other teams at the bottom.” Fulham continue to be without £12million Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou, who has yet to recover from a knee injury. Mitroglou has made only two appearances for the Cottagers since his deadline-day signing in January, but Magath hopes he will return soon. “Kostas is not happy about being injured, but it’s a normal thing for a football player. They get injuries,” he said. “We will see if he can join us in training next week. If there is a risk we will wait longer.” Press Association Felix Magath is convinced Fulham will win their battle for survival in the Barclays Premier League. Sunday’s clash with Everton is the first of four matches at Craven Cottage that will be critical to the club’s drive to escape relegation. Once the Toffees have been negotiated, Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace are due to visit south west London. last_img read more

first_imgThe shirt has not been in use since full-back Antonio Valencia departed the Red Devils last summer. Other previous owners of the number 25 include the likes of former goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington, Jordi Cruyff, Quinton Fortune and right-back Danny Simpson. Speaking following the confirmation of the move last week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Odion is an experienced player. He will come in and give us an option of a different type of centre-forward for the short spell he’s staying with us. He’s a great lad and very professional, he will make the most of his time here.”Solskjaer hopes Ighalo will add depth and quality to his frontline which is without the injured Rashford until at least March.“We will give him time to settle,” Solskjaer said, adding, “He is a striker, has a physical presence and is a goalscorer so he will give us a lot. You would be thrilled when you have been a Manchester United supporter your whole life and you’ve been working your whole life.“Being the top scorer in the African Cup of Nations tells you a lot about the qualities we are going to get. He’s a different type of striker. He’s a proven goalscorer, physical presence.“It also gives us a chance to rest Mason Greenwood and to rest Anthony Martial at times with so many games coming up. We want to go far in the Europa League, we want to go far in the FA Cup, we’ve got league games to go.“It was important we had another type of striker to use. Marcus Rashford is going to be out for a little while but when he comes back as well we’ll be a different team.”Ighalo told Sky Sports News that he was a boyhood fan of Manchester United and is looking forward to starting work with the Premier League side.“It’s a dream come true because since I was a kid I followed and dreamt of Manchester United. But it is a reality now. I cannot say much more now until I get started. It’s been crazy. Obviously, I am happy to be in Manchester first of all.“This is a great opportunity for me and I am grateful to God, and to my agent, and the coach who has given me this opportunity to be here. I am happy to be here and to work out with the team and finish very well this season.”While Ighalo is thrilled to joining the Red Devils on a short term loan, the striker turned down a move to Nou Camp when Barcelona found themselves almost in the same position as the former English champions and the Spanish champions wanted him on a six months loan deal.Giving reason on why he turned down a move to Barcelona last year January to continue his career in the Chinese Super League, he said: “My agent spoke to me about a loan interest from Barcelona. The club wanted a striker with La Liga experience and someone who understands Spanish football.“It was meant to be a six-month loan and strictly as a back-up striker. It was nice to hear that Barcelona were interested and any footballer would be more than happy to take it. But with due respect I had just finished as the second top scorer in China with 21 goals, I deserve better and didn’t want to be a short-term player somewhere.“We rejected it, it was an easy decision to make and I chose to stay in China by joining Shanghai Shenhua on a longer contract,” Ighalo added.The former Watford striker, who previously spent five years at Granada, rejected an opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League and potentially claim a first European league title with the 25-time Spanish champions.Ighalo insists he has no regrets over his decision to snub Barcelona and sign a three-year deal at Shanghai Shenhua as he believes he had to adopt a long-term plan for his career.“You need to weigh things up properly in life and ask yourself if it is your call to make, or one to satisfy others,” said Ighalo.“I respect my decision. I needed to focus on what is good for my career long-term and when you decide to do something – you stay true to yourself. It wasn’t for me and I am happy where I am.”Ighalo’s Manchester United signing is a shock as he has spent the last three years playing in China. The Chinese Super League is largely seen as an inferior competition and one where players move after their prime to see out their careers with often lucrative contracts.Ighalo does have plenty of Premier League experience. He played for Watford between 2014 and 2017, scoring 16 goals in 55 top-flight appearances for the Hornets.The striker was also a key player for Nigeria before announcing his international retirement in July 2019, scoring 16 goals in 35 outings for the Super Eagles. He was the top scorer at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations with five goals in five appearances to help the Super Eagles to the semi-finals.Ighalo will add to United’s attacking options following an injury to top scorer Rashford. The club only have Anthony Martial and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood currently available, meaning Ighalo can expect plenty of game time.However, former Chelsea forward Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is of the opinion that Ighalo’s move to Old Trafford only highlights the difference between Manchester United and Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.Surprised by the move, Hasselbaink said Ighalo was neither United’s number one nor number two transfer target in January, but he believes the 2019 AFCON top scorer rode his luck to the Theatre of Dreams.“He must be the luckiest man! Going to China, being away from Europe nobody seeing him for two and a half years since he was at Watford and then getting a loan move at United,” the ex-Netherlands striker told SkySports.“Wow. That doesn’t happen!“It says how far behind United are from Liverpool, Manchester City and even Chelsea. They have got a big job ahead.“They needed somebody in. I think he was not their number one and I would be surprised if he was their number two or three as well.“He is getting an opportunity and he will definitely get minutes and we will see if he can do it.”The former Watford attacker arrived in Manchester on Sunday ahead of his formal unveiling by the Red Devils.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram During the 2018/19 winter transfer season, with Barcelona striker, Luiz Suarez, far from his best, the Catalan Club turned their direction to Nigerian striker, Odion Ighalo, to save their season but the 2019 AFCON top scorer turned the Spanish giants down. The same situation again played out in the just concluded winter transfer. With Manchester United Marcus Rashford out till the end of March, attention was again turned to the Chinese Super League top goal poacher for their top-four ambition. Will Ighalo be a lion in the winter at Old Trafford? This is the big question as he prepares to debut for his new clubWhat was initially thought to be mere rumour turned out to be a reality on the night of Friday, February 29,  when Manchester United beat the winter transfer deadline to sign Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo in a £3 million loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua in what is no doubt the most shocking transfer of the January window.Ighalo will be on loan at Old Trafford for the rest of the season as cover for Marcus Rashford, who has been ruled out for at least six weeks with a back injury and the striker has since been handed the number 25 jersey ahead of his possible debut against Chelsea following the Premier League winter break. Odion Ighalolast_img read more