Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, believes the Nigerian team did the unthinkable by coming third at the end of last month’s Africa Cup of Nations.
He told Leicester City’s club website, that the Eagles departed Nigeria with compatriots showing little trust in the squad.
During the continental outing in Egypt, Ndidi helped the Super Eagles to a third-place finish after they defeated Tunisia 1-0 in the bronze medal match.
Prior to the playoff, Algeria ended Nigeria’s chances of winning a fourth title with Riyad Mahrez’s stunning free-kick at the death of the semi-final.
“The aim was to go to the final, but for Riyad!” he continued.
“But we will take it, because losing the semi-final and going for the top place, we had no other option than to take third.
“That’s better than coming out with nothing. We learnt a lot. Nobody believed in the team to actually go that far. We got to the semi-finals, and people started to see how well the team can play.”
After his international assignment, the Nigeria international had less than two weeks as an extended break before joining Rodgers’ side for the new season.
He explained how he has kept his body in top shape after playing 90 minutes against Wolves last Saturday.
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“I had about 11 days off, and then I came back to the club. I didn’t go anywhere, I just stayed in Nigeria and then reported back,” he said.
“From my first day back, I felt really happy. The manager pushes everyone and tries to get everyone in good shape, so I have to blend into the group. There is no space for excuses, you have to do what you have to do.