Odejayi signed up for a fight

KAYODE Odejayi admits he faces a fight to regain his first team place after signing for Colchester United on a permanent basis.

Stuart Watson

KAYODE Odejayi admits he faces a fight to regain his first team place after signing for Colchester United on a permanent basis.

The Nigerian striker officially concluded his transfer to the U's from Championship club Barnsley today following a successful loan spell which has seen him net seven goals in 16 appearances

Odejayi's three month loan deal ran out on in mid-December meaning he was unavailable for Colchester's festive games against Southend and Southampton.

The Essex club won both those matches 2-1 to make it four successive League One victories and Odejayi admits he cannot expect to walk straight back into the team for today's FA Cup third round clash at Championship side Preston.

“It's going to be hard to get back in the team to be honest!” said the 27-year-old. “The team has been doing brilliantly; they've got two massive results recently which have sent out a big statement of what this club wants to do.

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“You only have to look at the players that are here to realise that you can't take your place in the team for granted.”

Odejayi kick-started his career by playing two seasons in the non-league with Forest Green, before he spent four further seasons making his name with Cheltenham Town in the bottom tier of the Football League.

The Nigerian was given his big chance by Championship side Barnsley in 2007 but, despite being a big part of their run to the FA Cup semi-finals the following year, the move never quite worked out for him.

“I'll take the positives from my time at Barnsley. They gave me the chance to play Championship football, I've made a lot of good friends there, so I'll always hold fond memories of my time there,” said Odejayi.

“This move was a bit of a no-brainer really though. When I came here I couldn't have asked for it to go any better. I've got loads of games, scored goals and I've been made to feel really welcome by everyone at the club.

“My family are in London so this is the closest I have been to them for quite a few years. Everything about this move felt right.”

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