BRAD Ihionvien insists he will be ready to make an impact for Colchester United – whether he starts or is on the bench.

The 19-year-old striker bagged his third goal of the season when he scored the U’s winner in their 1-0 victory over Peterborough United, in the EFL Trophy.

It was Ihionvien’s first start under new head coach Matty Etherington after five successive substitute appearances and the teenager says he is eager to make an impression.

Ihionvien said: “I’ve been coming off the bench in previous weeks and it was good to get the start and get the minutes under my belt.

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“It was really good to have that conversation with Matty (Etherington).

“Whatever happens, if I’m on the bench I’ll be ready to come on and if I start, I’ll be ready for anything that happens.

“I try my best to leave an impact on the game – if I come on for a whole half or just ten minutes, I want to make sure that when I leave that game, people remember what I did.

“The assists for Chily and Ready were two important impacts on games.”

Gazette: Bradley Ihionvien

Ihionvien struck Colchester’s winner against Peterborough just before half-time, firing home a left-foot strike after goalkeeper Fynn Talley had parried Chay Cooper’s cross into his path.

“I was pleased with my finish and it was a pleasing feeling, to see it go in,” said Ihionvien, who has made 20 league and cup appearances for the U’s so far, this season.

“I think it was a tough technique to hit on the volley like that.

“It’s important not to lash at it – sometimes, you can slice those ones or hit them over the bar.

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“It’s about keeping it on target but sometimes it’s lack of the bounce and it fell to me, whereas it hasn’t in previous games.”

Ihionvien faces plenty of competition for a Colchester starting spot, with Joe Taylor, Samson Tovide, Tom Hopper and the currently sidelined John Akinde also vying for a place in their attack.

The U’s academy product was paired alongside Hopper against Peterborough and says he enjoyed the experience.

He said: “I really enjoyed playing alongside Hops.


“It’s great to be an environment where I’m playing with people like Hops, Sams, John and Joe where everyone has something different to offer.

“In my position, where all of them are more experienced than me, it’s good to be able to learn different things off them, on and off the pitch.”

Colchester will be looking to build on their win over Peterborough with another victory this weekend when they host Barrow, in League Two.

Ihionvien added: “We’re all enjoying playing under the new head coach.

“Training is good and morale in the changing room is good as well.

“We’re winning games, so it’s really good.”