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Steve Cotterill delighted to see Daniel Udoh flying for Shrewsbury

Steve Cotterill has told of his delight at seeing frontman Daniel Udoh blossom into a ‘folk hero’ at Shrewsbury Town.

Daniel Udoh of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 (AMA)
Daniel Udoh of Shrewsbury Town celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-1 (AMA)

Udoh has emerged as the talisman for Town after initially struggling to adapt to life in the Football League following his move from neighbours AFC Telford United in 2019.

Last season, Udoh was Town’s top scorer with 16 goals as he established himself as a firm fan- favourite at the Montgomery Waters Meadow.

Udoh missed the opening day draw at Morecambe, returning from the substitutes’ bench on Saturday in the home defeat to Accrington Stanley.

The 25-year-old was given his first start of the season in Tuesday night’s EFL Cup clash with Carlisle United – and repaid his manager with a goal as Salop progressed to the next round of the competition.

“I have had a lot of time for Dan since I have come into the football club,” said boss Cotterill, following the 3-2 victory. “I know that it has been really difficult for him and the physios to actually pinpoint what was wrong with him and that has been really hard over the last couple of months. Not just for Dan, but for the physios who have worked tirelessly on him.

“But thankfully now, hopefully, you know touch wood that has cleared up.”

And Cotterill revealed there were some at the club who doubted Udoh would make the step up from non-league to the standard required to make it in League One, when the manager took over in late 2020.

“When I first came in the door people are saying don’t keep him he is not good enough, he is this, he is that, he is the other,” added Cotterill. “And now all of a sudden he is like a folk hero here isn’t he? It is funny how things change like that. I couldn’t be any more pleased with Dan.”

Captain Luke Leahy and centre-half Chey Dunkley also scored in Tuesday’s victory and Cotterill said he has set his central defenders a target to get more goals this season.

The boss added: “I have set those three a target – for the three of them not individually, where I think if they can get goals and they can chip in that will help us with set-plays that will give us more points. So let’s hope they can deliver on a regular basis for us.”

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