Wrexham AFC loan striker Ntumba Massanka keeps improving


Richard Williams

NTUMBA MASSANKA believes his loan spell at Wrexham is having the desired effect and his game is showing signs of improvement.

The 20-year-old striker, who joined Wrexham on loan from Burnley in January until the end of the season, scored his second goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Braintree Town on his eighth appearance for the Reds.

A substitute for his first three games, Massanka has made five successive starts in attack alongside Izale McLeod, something he is not used to in first team football.

Massanka made 11 substitute appearances during a loan spell with Morecambe earlier in the season and he says a run in the Wrexham side is a huge boost in his development.

“It is going really good,” said Massanka, who was recommended to Wrexham boss Dean Keates by former Reds manager Brian Flynn.

“It is different compared to all the other loans I have had because I have not really played as much as I would have liked to and got full games.

“But here, as soon as I got in the side I just wanted to play as many games as possible and I think I have done well.

“The manager and the players have all helped me out so it is good for my development.”

Massanka, who made three appearances while on loan at York City last season, added: “Hopefully I keep my place but it doesn’t matter who is in the side, it is just about the wins.

“It is great that I am playing games because I felt before I came here, that is what I needed; game time in men’s football.

“To get a consistent run of games is good for me and I think I am improving every time I play.

“Hopefully I will score more goals for Wrexham. We are just trying to climb up the table and get as high as possible, and just rack up the wins.”

Wrexham got off to the worst possible start as Braintree scored inside the opening 40 seconds but Massanka equalised in the fourth minute and on-loan midfielder Ollie Shenton grabbed a second half winner.

Although delighted to add to the spectacular goal he scored in last month’s 3-1 victory over Guiseley, Massanka insists picking up three points was the priority, leaving in-form Wrexham with just one defeat in nine matches.

“It was the worst possible start but I felt that we could definitely turn it around,” said Massanka. “We did that and the boys were brilliant.

“It was really good to get another goal but the most important thing was to get the win.

“Braintree is a tough place to come and they are in good form but we are in even better form and picked up another win.

“It was just about improving on our second half performance and we did that.”

Massanka converted a cross from McLeod and he came close to a second goal after the break but Braintree goalkeeper Sam Beasant pulled on a brilliant save.

“I just focussed on getting good contact,” Massanka said about his goal.

“Because it was on my left foot, I just thought get any contact towards goal and anything can happen. Luckily it went in.”

On his second half chance, Massanka added: “The goalkeeper made a brilliant save.

“As soon as I hit it I thought it was going in because I hit it low and on target but he has pulled off a great save.”

Massanka was over the moon to see Shenton, on loan from Stoke City, score his first professional goal.

“I was buzzing for him because me and Ollie are room-mates,” he added. “It was really good that he got the goal and he kick-starts now. But it was all about getting the win and that is what we did.”

Wrexham will aim for a third successive win against play-off contenders Gateshead at The Racecourse on Saturday.

“Hopefully we can get the crowd behind us and get another win,” added Massanka. “It is a tough game at home but I am sure we can get something out of it.

“We are on a great run and credit to everyone that has been involved, from the manager and staff down to the players. We have worked our socks off.”

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