FRED Onyedinma still believes his “time will come” at Millwall as he continues to enjoy a productive loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers.
Onyedinma, who turns 22 on November 24, has played 15 times this season and scored twice, as part of an attack that includes former Lions Paris Cowan-Hall and Adebayo Akinfenwa.
Wycombe are 15th in League One after promotion last season. Onyedinma was with Wycombe on loan in the 2014-15 season when he scored eight goals in 25 games.
Onyedinma revealed he told Neil Harris during the summer that he wanted a move.
“I knew that I wanted to go on loan after last season,” Onyedinma said. “I wanted to get games because that’s the only way you feel you improve and find your feet. It’s something I wanted to do for a long time.
“I spoke to the manager, I told him that I wanted to go on loan. He wanted me to stay, which was good because it felt like I was important to the team. But he understood as well because I’m still young and want to get games. Unfortunately I didn’t get as many games as I would have liked last season.
“It’s something that he looked at and he allowed me the opportunity to go.
“From what I know there were a few clubs interested. I was at Wycombe before and did well, so I knew what I was going to get. Wycombe is a proper family club like Millwall. I just needed time to find my feet and continue my development.
“It has been a bit up and down. They just got promoted so the manager and players are still learning each game. We found something that worked and how we could improve, and we know that with the players we have we can do something in League One.
“It’s about being patient and finding your form and keeping going.”
Onyedinma has played on both wings for Gareth Ainsworth’s side, in two main formations, and a strike in October in a 3-2 win against Scunthorpe was League One goal of the month.
He admitted being part of a front three gives him more freedom.
“It does, but recently we have played 4-4-2 as well. I’ve played on the left side. Sometimes I’ll play on the left, sometimes on the right. I’ve been most effective on the left because that’s where I scored my goals from,” Onyedinma said.
“It was quite nice to get my first goal. When you start scoring and are in form, you always produce good things. It’s always going to be the aim as an attacker to get goals and assists. I know I can do it, I just have to be persistent and the goals will come.
“[Ainsworth] tells me to always think about the end product. He tells me to express myself and emphasises end product, whether that’s a shot on goal or a cross.
“There is no pressure because we’ve got so many attackers that can score.”
One of those is 36-year-old Akinfenwa, who played nine times for Millwall in 2007-08.
Onyedinma said: “He’s someone I look up to. He has a lot of time for everyone and he’s a big character, you see that immediately. He’ll help you out, motivate you.
“There are certain things he does on the pitch, he’s so big, I haven’t seen anyone that can do what he can. With two men on him he’ll control the ball on his chest and turn and score.
“When he was growing up everyone thought he was too big, that he couldn’t get around the pitch. But he always defies people and he’s still doing it. He gives his all every time.
“I’ve known Paris for some time. When he was at Millwall he didn’t play much but I trained with him and when you have a good understanding you’re going to link up better on the pitch.”
Onyedinma’s loan ends on January 1 but he is keen to keep playing. Although he has played 151 times for Millwall he has often struggled for a consistent run of form. It looked like his real breakout season would be 2016-17 when he caught the attention of Premier League sides as Millwall reached the FA Cup quarter-finals.
“I believe in timing and everything happens for a reason,” Onyedinma said. “When I was linked with clubs I didn’t get carried away. I wanted to keep my head down and keep working.
“You have to do that and then your time will come.”
Image: Millwall FC