Defender William Troost-Ekong has disclosed that the Super Eagles came out of the last FIFA World Cup in Russia more ambitious in future outings, particularly qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Nigeria failed to go past the group stage of the mundial but Udinese new signing Troost-Ekong says the Eagles’ morale are not dampened as they resume their quest for a place in the next edition of Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
“Yeah it was hard for all of us not to make progress from the group stage at the World Cup. But I still look back with pride about the team because our outing in Russia has definitely made us hungrier to qualify for the 2019 AFCON and to go all the way there,” Troost-Ekong told thenff.com.
The centre back is one of the 24 players invited by coach Gernot Rohr for Saturday’s Group E Nations Cup qualifier against Seychelles in Victoria.
And Troost-Ekong bares his resolve not to relent until he wins at a laurel with the three-time African champions.
The former Bursaspor of Turkey player was a member of the Nigeria U-23 team that claimed the bronze medal at the last summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil, in 2016.
“I am proud of the medal we brought home to Nigeria from the Olympics Football Tournament in Brazil in 2016, but my big aim is to win something with the Super Eagles. I am really looking forward to that,” the defender said.
On the match against Seychelles and the one against Libya in October, Troost-Ekong said with optimal performance by the Super Eagles, Nigeria would go all the way to amass crucial points to qualify for the finals, because according to him, “we have demonstrated now that when Nigeria plays at its best there aren’t many teams we have to fear.”
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