Super Eagles handler Stephen Keshi has assured Nigerians to do away with their fears despite injuries to four of the key players that should have been part of the team.
While the Super Eagles prepares for crucial 2014 World Cup qualifying games and the FIFA Confederations Cup, Coach Stephen Keshi has encouraged Nigerians not to panic.
Scotland- based midfielder Reuben Gabriel, ace forward Emmanuel Emenike, attacking midfielders Kalu Uche and Victor Moses have all been ruled out of the friendly match against Mexico, Nigeria’s two World Cup qualifiers and the Confederations Cup- a spate of injuries that had caused anxiety in some quarters, while a section of the media has seized the opportunity to downplay Nigeria’s readiness.
But Keshi, who took charge of underdogs Togo on their way to a first ever World Cup eight years ago, said he was more than committed to leading his own country to next year’s finals in Brazil, no matter the challenges.
“I am never one to run away from challenges; I have confronted them head- on all my life. I have very good relationship with each and every of my players, with mutual respect and regard being the bedrock.
“The players that we have are always ready to defend the green- white- green. We have 16 players here now and team spirit is high. Everyone wants to play. What we will certainly not do is to beg anyone to play for Nigeria.”
The man, who Nigerians refers to as ‘big boss,’ does not see any course for alarm over the late arrival of some players considering the period of the European season.
“Most of the players have just concluded very grueling seasons and have need to sort out personal issues, and of course there are talks to hold ahead of next season. These talks have to be done now considering that the players would be away for about seven week, on duty for Nigeria.”
There were new inclusions to the team at their Novina Hotel camp in Nuremberg on Wednesday morning. The arrival of Germany- based striker Joseph Akpala and Ukraine- based forward Babatunde Michael.
Portugal- based John Ogu was being expected on Wednesday night, while defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Elderson Echiejile as well as midfielder Nnamdi Oduamadi are expected in camp on Thursday.
First choice goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama is expected from his Israeli club on Friday, Scotland- based stopper Efe Ambrose and Napoli of Italy midfielder Ogenyi Onazi has been granted permission to arrive on Saturday due to club’s commitment.
Brown Ideye will join the team in Texas, USA, while Ahmed Musa and Fegor Ogude will join the squad in Frankfurt after the friendly with Mexico in America, also due to club commitments.
The team will fly out of Frankfurt on Tuesday morning aboard a Lufthansa Airline aircraft, and will arrive in Houston, Texas in the evening.