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"I called the gaffer myself, I spent time in Malta but I wanted to come back to England." - Coventry City's Lateef Elford-Alliyu

8 September 2015

The Nigerian-born striker has set his sights on a long-term deal with City after earning a four-month deal at the club...

In Lateef Elford-Allyiu's case, it turned out a contract was just a phone call away.

The 23-year old striker signed a four-month contract with the Sky Blues on transfer deadline day, determined to prove his worth in the professional game.

It hasn't been easy for Elford-Alliyu who was once touted as one of the brightest young talents to progress from the West Bromwich Albion Academy, but had to play for Maltese side Valletta last season in search of regular first-team football.

The former England Under-17 international, who played against Coventry City for Bury in 2012, explained how a simple phone call to City boss Tony Mowbray lead to his short-term deal.

The City striker said: "I spent time in Malta and I wanted to come back to England. I called the gaffer myself, I asked him if there was a possibility of me coming in. 

"I knew him from my time at West Bromwich Albion and he was happy for me to come in to train and to see what I can bring.

"I believe I have the quality but I have to work hard on my fitness. I need to keep playing well, take the chance and see what will come of it. 

"The Under-21s is a good chance for me to show what I can do and I think I've done OK so far.

"I was pleased to get on the bench against Burton and I have to keep impressing the manager to get my chances. It's a big club and I feel I can add something."

Elford-Alliyu started for the Under-21s in the 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic yesterday after he earned a place on the bench in the 2-1 win at Burton Albion.

Despite admitting being on trial isn't a pleasant experience, Elford-Alliyu expressed his determination to land a long-term contract. 

He added: "It was nice to actually get a contract, I've been on trial and have had to work hard to get an opportunity. Now I have to keep working hard, not let it stop and above all impress.

"It's not the nicest feeling being on trial, not knowing anyone, but that's football, there's always pressure whether you're in the 21s or the first-team. 

"You maybe feel a bit of pressure off the pitch but when you cross the line it all goes and you've got to work hard to impress.

"I hope I can keep going and get a longer contract of course. That's the aim, I have to get in the team first and get in the manager's eyeline but I believe in myself."

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