AFTER making his long awaited move to Middlesbrough, Uche Ikpeazu is ready to become the main man at the club.

The ‘big man’, as Neil Warnock calls him, donned Boro’s new away kit for the first time last night in their pre-season friendly win over Bishop Auckland.

It only took eight minutes to announce himself to the Boro fans with a wicked 25 yard strike that kissed the underside of the crossbar and went in.

“It was a cracking goal wasn’t it. He does that on a regular basis” said the Boro boss Warnock after the game.

“We’ve just got to educate him a little bit. I think the fans have got to be patient with him as well but we’re down in Cornwall for a week now and Ronnie Jepson’s going to get hold of him.

“I know he’s not a youngster but he still needs educating about what he needs to do on the pitch.

“He’s so keen to listen and do it so it’s good that we’ve got a full week where we can train with him.”

Ikpeazu said: “It feels great. Obviously a massive club so it’s good to be a part of this club.

“Very good to score my first goal even though it’s pre-season. It was a good win and the lads done well.”

The big unit moved to the club from Wycombe Wanderers for just over half a million pounds.

He started his career with Watford before being released in 2016. Since then, he’s had to build his career from the bottom of the Football League back to where it is now, literally.

He joined bottom of League Two Cambridge United where he’d score 19 league goals in 55 starts.

From there, the Ugandan had a spell in Scotland with Hearts before a move to Wycombe at the start of last season as they attempted to consolidate their position in the Championship.

He first caught Warnock’s eye when the two teams met last season at Adams Park. Ikpeazu was on the scoresheet that day as Boro went on to win 3-1.

“I think ever since I played you first game, the gaffer just said, the first time he saw me when you lot played us at home and you beat us 3-1, he was like ‘you’re my sort of player’. Ever since then I knew that he was interested in me. I didn’t know if it would materialise but it did.

“It was my second start because I’d, more or less, missed the first half of the season. Obviously to have a manager of that magnitude show interest in me, that was amazing. Yeah I’m here but there’s so much work to do.

“It’s a big club. Like I said I was at Watford to start. When I got released I always wanted to get back to that level of club so playing for this club is amazing but there’s so much more to come from me. I’m just building.

“I think the style of play is important to me because I like to play in a system where they are going to get the ball forward.

“I want to be a focal point and bring others into play. That’s the things that I relish as a centre forward.

“I think I’m very well suited to the system that we want to play. I’m looking forward to the season, scoring goals, assisting goals and playing with Tav (Marcus Tavernier), we’ve already got a good connection.”

While his super striker in the friendly against Bishop Auckland represents a good start in a Boro shirt, both the manger and player recognise there is still work to do for him to become the main man.

“I don’t think we’re playing to his strengths yet” said Warnock.

“Too pretty-pass when we could play it to him but that will come with the bigger pitches.

“It’s almost like with the kids in the second half, they’re afraid to put it in the channel. It’s all keep possession and don’t lose the ball which is what they’re taught but sometimes you’ve got to take a risk.

“Play it into the channel when you’ve got people like Uche.

Ikpeazu admitted that he’s enjoying playing under the Boro boss and said “It’s been good so far. He believes in me so I’ve got to repay him the faith in bringing me here.”