Man mountain Showunmi ready to lead Magpies to peak of League One
MAN mountain Enoch Showunmi says he is ready to lead Notts County to the peak of League One.
The Magpies have made a great start to the new season without their new 6ft 5in No.9, winning three of their first four games to sit in third place ahead of facing Shrewsbury Town at Meadow Lane tomorrow.
But he is now fit after a knee injury and, having marked his full debut for the club with his first goal as Notts beat Scunthorpe United 2-1 in the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday night, he now wants to be unleashed against the newly-promoted Shrews.
Magpies' boss Keith Curle has a big decision to make in attack because for the first time this season all his strikers are fit and available.
Showunmi will battle it out with Lee Hughes, who has started the last three league games and scored in their 2-0 win at Bury last Saturday, and Yoann Arquin, who returned against Scunthorpe after a three-game suspension, having scored and been sent off on his debut.
Curle has played one striker in every game so far this season – and Showunmi, 30, hopes it is him against Shrewsbury.
"We've got some good strikers here," he said.
"I guess scoring and playing 90 minutes at Scunthorpe has put something in the gaffer's head when he comes to picking the team for Shrewsbury.
"Hopefully I'm in contention for a start.
"I'm definitely fit enough to start twice in a few days – the more minutes I get under my belt the better.
"If the gaffer chooses me, I'll be ready to play.
"But if I'm on the bench I will give my all for the cause if I get on.
"It's all about the team, it's about us achieving our goal and hopefully as a squad we can drive each other on and get promoted."
Showunmi was the Magpies' first summer signing, arriving at Meadow Lane from Tranmere Rovers on a two-year deal.
After an injury-hit start to his career at Notts, he is glad to finally be fit and to have got off the mark, having set himself an ambitious target of 20 goals this season.
"It's great to get off the mark and hopefully I can score many more goals this season," he added.
"For me, it puts to bed when I came off the bench and didn't have the greatest performance against Walsall.
"It hadn't been playing on my mind, but it was just professional pride.
"You don't want to have bad performances.
"It was good to get another chance so soon after it and show the fans a bit more of what I can do.
"It was great to get 90 minutes under my belt too, so I feel like I've taken a big stride forward with my fitness.
"The goal will be good for my confidence and the 90 minutes will be good for my fitness.
"I'm pushing myself to the max and hopefully I will get the rewards by doing well on the pitch and scoring the goals we need to have a successful season."
Showunmi is confident he will soon be fully fit and able to produce his best performances in black-and-white stripes.
"I'm feeling good, but towards the end of the Scunthorpe game I started to feel a bit tired, but I kept pushing myself," he said.
"It takes about three, four, five matches to get truly match fit and hopefully I can get there in the next few weeks."
The win at Glanford Park was the first time in 11 years the Magpies have won in the Football League Trophy and the Notts board want to go all the way to Wembley and win it.
Showunmi insists promotion into the Championship is the club's No.1 priority, but believes a successful run in the Trophy will help their cause.
"The league is our top priority," he said.
"We want to try to push for promotion this season.
"We've put ourselves under that pressure to go out and perform in every game and to be successful.
"But the cup games help give us that winning mentality as a squad.
"We made five changes for the Trophy and the boys that came in did well and we pulled out another win.
"If you can get a winning mentality coursing through the entire squad it bodes well for the rest of the season."
The Magpies are just one point behind Showunmi's former club Tranmere and Yeovil Town, who are both unbeaten on ten points at the top of the table.
Notts have beaten Crewe, Hartlepool United and Bury and Showunmi believes they have the staying power to sustain a challenge for promotion.
"The belief we have is justified," he said.
"You have to believe in yourself if you want to achieve anything, not just in football, in life.
"All of us have a belief we can do well this season and promotion is something we're all pushing for and all want.
"There are a lot of players here who can play at a higher level and we're all looking to do that.
"Hopefully we can achieve it this season."