N’Guessan takes tips from former Stevenage and Fulham striker Barry Hayles

N'Guessan wheels away to celebrate with Okenabirhie after scoring Stevenage's equaliser

N'Guessan wheels away to celebrate with Okenabirhie after scoring Stevenage's equaliser - Credit: Archant

Forward was at Arlesey Town earlier this season alongside former Boro front man

Jo N’Guessan scored on his first start for Stevenage in League 1 today just four months after he was banging in goals four levels below on the football pyramid.

Seven goals in 12 matches at Arlesey Town earlier this campaign alongside former Stevenage striker Barry Hayles caught the attention of Boro boss Graham Westley back at his parent club, and now given the chance to prove his ability in League 1 the front man netted with a fine finish against Walsall today.

Speaking afterwards about adjusting to life in the Football League, and about his spell alongside Hayles earlier this campaign, N’Guessan said: “It was an unbelievable feeling when I saw it go in the back of the net. It was a great pass from Jimmy Smith as well, and I’m over the moon with it.

“[The spell at Arlesey] helped me a lot. I got a few goals there, I got my confidence up a little bit. I got games, which I wasn’t getting obviously here at the start of the season.

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“I had to keep my fitness levels up and that helped a lot. Coming back here is a lot different than that level but the principles are the same; if you get the ball in the back of the net that’s the main thing as a striker.

“[The main difference between levels is] getting used to the tempo of the game. When you’re playing youth football and even really the lower leagues such as Arlesey you get a bit more time on the ball, but when you’re here everything is on top of you and you have to think about what you’re going to do next with the ball.

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“[Hayles] was great. He talked me through a lot of things and he taught me a couple of things. He’s still a good player now. He’s still banging in the goals. It was great to play alongside him and hopefully I’ll stay in contact with him.”

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