Walsall have talent to push on, says Julien Ngoy
Julien Ngoy admits he has been impressed by the quality in Walsall’s squad – with the striker believing the team should be much higher in League One.
The Belgian, who joined the Saddlers on loan from Stoke on transfer deadline day, netted on his debut as Jon Whitney’s side secured a 1-0 win over MK Dons.
Ngoy also started against Blackpool before missing the draw at Gillingham on Saturday through illness.
And the forward, who has played against Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea in the Premier League, believes his new team has the potential to end the season in the top half of League One.
“This team should be closer to the top than relegation,” the 20-year-old said.
“We need to keep working and doing our best. And if we do that we will not be in danger of relegation any more.
“We have got some very good players and I don’t see why we can’t move up the table.
“We need to work hard and take our chances. And I’m going to do everything I can to score goals and help other players score goals as well.”
Ngoy put pen to paper on a five-year deal that keeps him at Stoke until 2022 back in September.
If he stays at the Britannia Stadium for the duration of that contract he will have been at the club for a decade after joining as a 15-year-old.
And the forward admits he has grown a lot as a person during his time in England.
“I arrived at Stoke when I was 15 and I have been there five years now,” Ngoy continued.
“The first time I came over here, I couldn’t speak English but now it’s better.
“I started with the under-16s and went through to the under-18s and then the under-23s.
“More recently I’ve been around the first-team.
“I’ve played against teams like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. It’s exciting to play against big teams like that.
“And it was a dream come true to make my debut against Arsenal because they have great players and are a great team.”
While his long-term aim is to be a regular in the Stoke first-team, Ngoy admits there are plenty of areas of his game he needs to improve.
And he believes Walsall was the perfect move to aid his development.
“I need to run more and work harder,” the forward said.
“That’s why I have come here, to work hard and improve.
“The manager has made it clear you have to work hard to get into the team.”
Ngoy admits he is enjoying working with boss Whitney.
“He is a positive manager,” he said.
“Even if there are some bad things, he will always try to find a positive thing to tell us.
“He motivates us a lot.”
Ngoy is also keeping in touch with new Stoke manager Paul Lambert.
“I’ve spoken to him (Lambert) a few times,” he added.
“He advised me to join Walsall and said that he will watch some of my games when Stoke aren’t playing on the same day.
“At the end of this season I will go back and hopefully the manager will give me a chance.
“If he gives me a chance, anything could happen.”