Emmanuel Osadebe says he was pleased to make his debut for Newport County AFC during the 1-1 draw with Morecambe at Rodney Parade.
The 21-year old, who joined on loan from Cambridge United last week, came on as a half-time substitute in place of Josh Sheehan and looked accustomed to his role in the County midfield.
Ben Tozer gave County the lead during the game after a somewhat quiet opening 14 minutes, guiding Frank Nouble’s flick-on from Robbie Willmott’s cross into the top corner from all of six yards.
Mickey Demetriou saw a header cleared off the goal line in first-half stoppage time, while Osadebe also came close with a long-range effort on the hour mark.
But Morecambe ensured they kept their strong record against County going by striking with 14 minutes remaining.
Shrimpers captain Michael Rose calmly scored his penalty after Joe Day had felled substitute Garry Thompson, ensuring County missed out on the chance to ascend into the play-off positions and have to settle for 8th place in the League 2 table ahead of the break for the Emirates FA Cup.
Post-match, Osadebe spoke exclusively to iFollow Exiles about how he thought his debut went, whether a point was a fair result against Morecambe and how the squad are excited with the prospect of Tottenham Hotspur visiting Rodney Parade on Saturday.
On his debut for Newport County AFC…
“To be fair, I thought it was good.
“I’m happy but of course, there’s still a lot to work on in terms of my own performance.
“45 minutes is the first-minutes that I’ve had in a while, been out of the squad at Cambridge, and to get here and get some minutes is good.
“But still a lot to do, if I work hard then I’ll get back to 100% easily.
“We nearly won it at the end, it would have been a dream debut, but these things happen.
“I am just glad to be back on the pitch, get some minutes under my belt, but I felt we gave away two points today.
“It’s disappointing but there were positives from the game and it’s just good to get back in.
“Happy with that.”
On the two goals at Rodney Parade…
“It was a very good finish from Ben Tozer.
“I think the run was good and the ball was better, so it was a very good goal for us.
“To be fair, I’m not sure on the penalty because I haven’t really looked at it well.
“It’s a mistake at the back and then they were in behind the defence. These things happen, it’s football, so we just need to take the positives and keep going.”
On what the fans can expect from him during his five-month loan…
“What they can expect is for me to give my all, and try to push us to get as many goals as we can, as many assists as we can and ultimately, get us into the play-offs or even the automatic promotion places.
“It’s there for us to achieve, the boys here are very good and together, I think we can really do something good this season.
“If we keep a positive mindset after today, then we’ll be in there by the end of the season I think.”
On setting himself some targets for the campaign…
“I just want to play as much as I can.
“Get some goals, get some assists and get myself to where I really should be in my own playing performance.
“I haven’t played in a while and I felt it today. But playing more games and working hard means it will all come through eventually.”
On how he has settled with the club…
“I’ve moved into a house with some of the players, so it’s me, Calaum [Jahraldo] and Ben [White.]
“We all get along, they are good guys and it gives me a great chance to gel with the boys. To be honest, I’m just very happy to be here.
“The manager is good; the assistant manager is good and the whole staff are good.
“Since I’ve been here, they have been very welcoming, and I settled in straight away.”
On facing Tottenham on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup…
“I haven’t played in any of the cups for Cambridge.
“Obviously when I was at Cambridge, I was disappointed to lose here [in the second round] but now I’m here, I’m a County player and just looking forward to playing and doing well with this club.
“It would be a very good way to start at this club [being involved against Spurs] but the other boys have been doing really well.
“It’s a draw today, a chance for people to take shirts and that, so I just need to get my head down Thursday and Friday and do what I can to hopefully help beat Tottenham on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a very tough game obviously. But the boys here with their attitude and their belief, I think we can really push them.
“Definitely we could possibly win, I’m confident in the boys and the team. Especially with the fans behind us, it’s not an easy place to come to so it should work for us.
“I’m very excited to play in-front of a big crowd [nearly 10,000] and I’m just looking forward to expressing myself and doing well at this football club.”
On whether a draw and taking Spurs back to Wembley would be a good result…
“That would be brilliant. But listen, just one step at a time.
“Hopefully we can win this one here at Rodney Parade, but if we draw then Wembley it is. We would look forward to that one.
“But 1000% percent, I would rather win here in-front of the home fans because it would be brilliant.
“As much as we want to go to Wembley, it would be very tough so at home we have the advantage and the fans will be fully behind us.
“The pitch here is not to the standard of Wembley and the boys are buzzing to be playing here and I don’t think Tottenham will want to be here.”