Last season, Peterborough United uncovered a League One striking gem when they brought Jack Marriott to the club from Luton Town in the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old, like so many at the club before him, arrived as a relatively unknown quantity but left the following summer for a hefty fee.
In total, Marriott scored 33 goals in 56 appearances for the Posh last season and earned himself a multi-million pound move to Frank Lampard’s Derby County this summer.
It left Peterborough once again needing to replace a star striker as they have had to do so many times before, after the likes of Dwight Gayle, Craig Mackail-Smith and Britt Assombalonga had departed over the years.
When Steve Evans brought Matt Godden to the club in the summer, then, nobody expected him to come close to Marriott’s tally or to be on a better strike rate after ten games.
Arriving having scored just ten goals for Stevenage in the 2017/18 season, expectations were low, but with eight goals in his first ten matches for Posh, he is well on the way to beating that before winter arrives.
But, despite making a step up the divisions, the striker is not surprised at his own impressive start to the season.
“I put it all down to hard work,” Godden told Football League World’s Louie Chandler in an exclusive interview.
“I always know there are going to be chances for me in the game with the players I’ve got around me so I stay confident that way knowing I won’t go a game without having a chance.
“I had to wait a bit later to get my first chance at the weekend, but, luckily for me, I tucked it away, although that doesn’t really matter now because we lost the game.”
The 27-year-old was one of 18 new arrivals at the club this summer who tasted league defeat with the Posh for the first time on Saturday when Portsmouth triumphed 2-1 at London Road.
But, with the club having won six of their first seven league games, he is confident that the newly assembled squad will be capable of bouncing back from the disappointing loss.
“We’re a tight-knit squad and all the boys are together so we know what we’ve got to do.
“We’ve played eight games and that was our first defeat, so we know that if we can get back to doing what we did for the first seven we can get another run going.”
With a character like Evans at the helm of the team, opinion is always going to be divided, both in the dressing room and in the stands. The former Leeds United, Rotherham United and Crawley Town manager has never been afraid of rubbing people up the wrong way and is somebody who is unashamedly willing to win at all cost.
Having been promoted to various levels of the Football League four times before it is an approach that seems to bear fruits, and with Godden currently flying under his stewardship, the striker is certainly not pitching his tent in the anti-Evans camp.
“He’s a winner at the end of the day,” Godden told Football League World.
“It’s how you deal with him really. The standards that he sets are so high you have to be on it all the time and some people deal with that and some people don’t.
“To be honest, I like that. It gets the best out of me so I’m obviously going to enjoy it.”
He is clearly not alone with this opinion in the club’s striking ranks either.
Nottingham Forest loanee Jason Cummings has racked up six goals and four assists in the league, whilst Ivan Toney has just the one goal but three assists.
Godden himself has impressed hugely with his ability to link up with whoever is partnering him in attack and has formed impressive partnerships with both players already. But he insists that the strong connections come naturally.
“Obviously Jas(on Cummings) is a completely different player to (Ivan) Toney.
“They’re different builds and they’re completely different players. Ivan is more of a presence than myself or Jason on the pitch.
“But I can’t say we work on building relationships with each other on the training pitch, so obviously, it just clicks and I think that’s a sign of the players that they are.
“You’ve just got to be clever really and know your players.”
At 27-years-old Godden is certainly an older signing, by Peterborough United’s standards anyway. When they have signed striker’s in the past it is usually with one eye on selling them on for a healthy profit in the future.
As a result, they are rarely older than 23 or 24-years-old. But the former Stevenage man does not see his slightly older age as a barrier to him following in the footsteps of those past Posh players.
The striker dropped out of the Football League when he was on the books with Scunthorpe United to join Ebbsfleet United in order to prove himself and says that has made him an even more ambitious person.
“I don’t think there’s a player out there who doesn’t want to play at the highest level they can,” he said.
“I’m a really ambitious guy. Since dropping out of the league to build my way up, I want to play at the highest level I can and I would love the opportunity to test myself at a higher level.
“Hopefully that comes next season with Peterborough after a promotion this year.”
The Posh are next in action when they travel to Gillingham on Saturday afternoon.
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