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Huddersfield hero Steve Mounie hopes to follow in Didier Drogba's footsteps

Huddersfield hero Steve Mounie hopes to follow in Didier Drogba's footsteps
By PA Sport

13/08/2017 at 22:36Updated 13/08/2017 at 22:46

Steve Mounie wants to emulate his "idol" Didier Drogba after inspiring Huddersfield's first Premier League victory with two goals in Saturday's 3-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Steve Mounie wants to emulate his "idol" Didier Drogba after inspiring Huddersfield's first Premier League victory with two goals in Saturday's 3-0 win at Crystal Palace.

The 22-year-old striker became the club's record signing when they paid a reported £11.4million to recruit him from Montpellier shortly after securing promotion from the Championship.

His 26th-minute finish meant that, like Drogba 13 years ago, his first goal in English football came at Selhurst Park, and like the Ivorian who contributed so much to Chelsea's success, he hopes to become one of the league's goalscoring greats.

"I will try and follow in his footsteps," said the Benin international. "What he did here is an inspiration to me. He is also African, like me, and we almost have the same story.

"He was born in Africa and came to France and then to England. He is a great player and man. I've never met him but maybe I will in the future.

"My idol is Drogba. Sometimes I just watch video clips of him, scoring goals over here. I have a similar style to him. I'm big like him. (Palace's Christian) Benteke as well, who is a great striker. I have to learn off them.

"Now people know who I am. It was amazing to start like this. I couldn't imagine a better start. For my first game it's a big confidence boost.

"But this game has finished. We have our next game to focus on now."

Huddersfield began the season, their first in the English top flight for 45 years, among the favourites for relegation, but convinced against Palace after Joel Ward's own goal gave them the lead.

Manager David Wagner said of Mounie: "He's very open-minded. He'll ask if he isn't sure what he has to do, and he has a great working attitude, a real terrier attitude, which is unusual for a striker, for a goalscorer.

"Usually, a striker or goalscorer only likes to score and without the ball give the responsibility to the rest of the team."

On his team's survival hopes, Wagner added: "We have a real chance to stay up, I knew this before this game. You only like to have a chance and we have a chance.

"We are in the Premier League, and we have a real chance, and it's up to us what we do out of it."

In what was also Frank de Boer's first fixture in English football, the Palace manager's new team appeared both short of confidence and unfamiliar with how they were being asked to play.

At the start of last season Alan Pardew's pursuit of a more expansive style of football led to poor results and his eventual dismissal, before the pragmatic Sam Allardyce's appointment as his successor.

But De Boer retains faith in his vision.

"No, not at all," he responded when asked if planned to make changes to his team and their 3-4-3. "If you lose the game in 15 minutes, that's what we have to avoid next time. Of course, you can lose games, but not like this at that moment."

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