Attacker Mendes Gomes admits step up to the Championship with Luton was 'difficult' as he aims to impress during Fleetwood loan

Carlos Mendes Gomes celebrates scoring against Newport earlier this seasonCarlos Mendes Gomes celebrates scoring against Newport earlier this season
Carlos Mendes Gomes celebrates scoring against Newport earlier this season
Attacker hadn’t played above League Two level ahead of his move to Kenilworth Road

Town winger Carlos Mendes Gomes admitted he found the step up to life as a Championship player at Kenilworth Road 'difficult’ in the early days of his move to the Hatters last season.

The 23-year-old was snapped up after a stellar year at Morecambe, scoring 16 goals including the winner from the penalty spot in the play-off final at Wembley that saw the Shrimps win promotion to League One.

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Joining the Hatters for an undisclosed fee, Mendes Gomes impressed in pre-season, scoring a number of fine long range strikes, but found breaking into Town’s second tier side tough, as he only started once in the opening four months.

He began the 3-0 win at Blackpool in December, however that was to prove his last start in the league, as he made seven outings from the bench, although did start all four of Luton’s cup matches.

It was the same this year, Mendes Gomes scoring a wonder goal in the 3-2 Carabao Cup defeat to Newport County, but with chances limited, he joined League Fleetwood on loan for the season in August.

Speaking to the Cods’ official website, the winger, who went from the youth ranks at Spanish giants Atletico Madrid to playing for West Didsbury & Chorlton in the North West Counties League Premier Division ahead of his move to Morecambe in July 2018, said of his early time with Luton: “It was a big step up to the Championship from League Two but for me the first few months were difficult as it took me time to adapt and get used to the area I was staying in and the quality of the players but after that, I was fine, I didn’t feel out of place and the lads there helped me settle in.

"The last five years for me have been interesting.

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"It is one of those where if you knew where I was five years ago, you might not have thought I would be where I am now or be working as hard as I have or even carrying on but playing non-league and college football and then moving to the Championship and now being at a League One club, it’s a hell of a journey.

"I am a very ambitious person and I know where I want to be.

“It has been a bit surreal, especially knowing where I was five years ago but it was a challenge, and one I was willing to take, and the staff have helped me a lot and also get me to where I am.”

Mendes Gomes was thrown straight into the Cod Army side by manager Scott Brown when arriving back in August, but picked up a hamstring injury straight away.

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However, he is now back and has begun the last two games, scoring his first goal at Portsmouth on Saturday, making eight appearances in total.

He continued: “I had a tough start to my time here at Fleetwood Town by getting injured in the first game and then coming back and then being set back with an issue, but my time here has been great so far.

"I have settled in really well and the staff and players have taken me in from the get-go and the whole place feels like a family environment, so I am delighted to be here.

"I knew everyone had my back and people have put their arms around me as it’s not easy when you get injured so quickly after joining and that has helped me come out the other side and now, I am fully ready to help the team out.”

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With Mendes Gomes looking to face Shrewsbury this weekend, he has set his sights on getting as much game time as he possibly can this term before heading back to the Hatters, adding: “Playing often is want you want to do as a player and I know it’s not easy for a manager to actually play a whole squad but for me, I want to play as many games as possible and as many minutes as possible so I can enjoy my football and that will help me and also help the team.

"League One is a very good league.

"There are some big clubs in this league with the likes of Derby County and Ipswich and for me I find it very interesting.

"I feel that we have a squad that is capable of doing something special this season and it’s about taking our chances and also turning those draws into wins.

“It would be great for me to help Fleetwood Town reach the play-offs and help them on their journey.

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"We know if we get that first goal then we can be a force in this league.

"As an attacking player, you just want to score goals and that is how you enjoy your football but we are judged by that and to help to team win is key.

"We need to score more than other teams and that’s the plan on loan.”