Elokobi back in ‘rightful’ place

Date published: 04 September 2014

GEORGE Elokobi is fast-becoming a fans’ favourite for his all-action displays - and believes playing as a centre-back once again means he is back in his rightful position.

The 28 year old has shone recently in a starring role as the team won — and kept clean sheets — at Doncaster and at home to Bradford.

He will be in an unchanged defensive line-up again on Saturday at Park as Athletic aim for a third win in a row against visitors Fleetwood.

Ironically, it was against the Bantams in midweek that Elokobi did for his former manager Phil Parkinson - the man who made him a full-back a decade ago.

“I have always seen myself as a left-sided centre-back rather than left-back,” Elokobi told the Chronicle. “Most people look at my build and think I can’t be a left-back, though I have played there most of my career. I thought it was about time I got back to my rightful position and I’m enjoying every minute of it here at Oldham.

“Hopefully I can flourish and show people what I can bring to the table as a defender.”

Elokobi has forged strong relationships on and off the field in his month at Park.

With James Wilson alongside him, the Cameroon-born defender has proved to be an increasingly obstinate barrier for opposition attackers.

And after 18 months of struggle, the popular Elokobi is delighted to have formed a strong bond with supporters.

“It’s great to be playing regularly,” added Elokobi, who broke an ankle when on loan at Bristol City two years ago, only making 10 appearances between then and joining Athletic.

“Last season was stop-start at Wolves and I didn’t play as much as I wanted to, as the team was playing well and I was coming back from a serious injury,” he said.

“I am getting fitter and into my rhythm. Hopefully, I can carry on doing well and the team can as well.”

THE draw for the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will be shown live on Soccer AM on Saturday morning. Athletic will face one of these sides: Barnsley, Burton, Doncaster, Hartlepool, Notts County, Scunthorpe and Sheffield United.