Eisa confident he can cash in with Peterborough United and why he will always be grateful to a former Posh manager
Peterborough United’s record signing Mo Eisa talks to Alan Swann of the Peterborough Telegraph...
Fifteen months without a competitive goals? ‘Don’t worry about that.’
No starts in the Football League since May 5, 2018? ‘Not a problem’.
The pressure of being Peterborough United’s record signing? ‘I didn’t decide the fee’.
Interviewing Mo Eisa, the most expensive Posh player in the club’s history after the £1.25 million paid to Watford for Britt Assombalonga in 2013 was eclipsed to bring the 25 year-old to London Road from Bristol City this summer, was a pleasure.
He’s confident without being anywhere near arrogant. He thinks he will score goals in League One and yet he’s as humble as footballers come.
Eisa is bright and down to earth.
He reckons he learnt as much playing for Bristol City under 23s and training with a Championship club as he did banging in 25 goals in his one full season for Cheltenham.
Posh tried to buy him after that record-breaking campaign, but understandably lost out to the bigger club.
They have him now though and Eisa believes they can enjoy the Championship together.
He wants to play in the Championship, but, just as importantly, he wants to play regularly full stop.
Eisa instigated the move away from Ashton Gate at the end of last season, one made with no hard feelings on either side.
“I just want to play,” Eisa said. “I told my agent I needed to go on loan or find another club because it was hard to get in the City side.
“I don’t blame anyone. I was injured for the first two months of my time there and when I recovered the team was flying so I couldn’t break through.
“Everyone in the City team was so talented.
“I did score a few goals in the under 23s, but that football wasn’t doing a lot for me so I had to get away.
“I have no regrets about going there though.
“It toughened me up mentally and to be around players with so much ability made me realise what I had to do to play at that level.
“I honestly believe I left City a better player even though I didn’t play much.
“I think I can do well at Championship level and I think I can get back there with Peterborough.
“It’s not as though I’ve really joined a lower league side.
“Peterborough are always near the top of League One so it should be a good move for me.
“The fee they paid for is not a problem. I didn’t decide it. It was up to the clubs, so I’m not bothered by it.”
Eisa had trials as a teenager with Norwich and Southend without success, so moved into non-league football with Dartford and Greenwich before former Posh manager Gary Johnson gave him his Football League break at Cheltenham.
“Gary was the perfect manager for me at that time,” Eisa added. “He encouraged me and praised me, but also made sure my feet stayed on the ground.
“I owe him a lot and not just because he gave me my first pro contract. His advice was invaluable.
“I had a great first season at Cheltenham and when the chance came to move up to Bristol City I had to take it.
“It didn’t work out, but that’s how football works sometimes.
“I haven’t played in League One before, but I am confident I will score goals for this team.
“Pre-season has gone well. I know they are only friendly matches, but it was important for me to start scoring straight away. It settled me down.
“It was the same when I went to Cheltenham. I started scoring in pre-season and just kept going.
“I’ve hit it off quickly with Ivan Toney. We’ve both been scoring and we’ve played well together and we should get better.
“It’s not just about us though. Matty Godden is a good player and Siriki Dembele will score his fair share of goals.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work to get where we want to be, but we will put that work in.”