— Super Eagles goalkeeper insists Nigeria will qualify for Maroc 2015 Nations Cup despite setback
It’s good to have you Austin, how are you?
It’s nice to talk to you. I am doing well, thank you.
Can we get your thoughts on Nigeria’s qualifying campaign for the 2015 AFCON?
It hasn’t been good of course, and everybody knows it. Not exactly what we expected, but there are still four games to go and we still have to play Congo and South Africa again. It is quite unfortunate we couldn’t get victories in those games, but we did learn a lot and hopefully they would have been corrected by the time we play the next games.
What would you really say went wrong in those games against Congo and South Africa?
It’s hard to say, but I know we didn’t play too well, especially in that game against Congo. The game against South Africa was slightly better but the South Africans were high on confidence, having beaten Sudan 3-0 and we having lost to Congo at home. Maybe the confidence wasn’t really there, I don’t know. But these things happen and we can only learn from them.
Nigerians are still unhappy with you guys. Some feel Nigeria’s chances may have evaporated.
I understand how Nigerians feel because we feel the same way too but it isn’t over yet. Like I said, there are four more games to go and we can still qualify. Spain were defending champions at the World Cup, but see how they were eliminated from the competition. Sometimes it becomes more difficult when you are a champion because there are more expectations and also more people with even more determination to bring you down. I strongly believe we will get back on track.
Don’t you think you should have done better in that game against Congo?
It depends on what you mean by ‘better’, because they scored good goals. I wouldn’t want to attribute the goals we conceded to any individual because we played as a team and lost as a team. It was painful but we will get better.
Would you say the NFF crises affected the players?
No, I wouldn’t say that. We weren’t even thinking of it, no, far from it. I don’t think so.
How does it feel playing second fiddle to Vincent Enyeama?
It is not a case of being second fiddle or anything like that. It is a team sport where only eleven players can start a game at any given time and our department is even more restricted because you can only have one goalkeeper at a time. It’s Vincent’s time now and we all support him because he’s a very good goalkeeper. We are good friends
and relate very well. But the decision to start always lies with the coach and whoever he chooses will always be ready, I’m sure.
Hapoel Be’er Sheva played out a 1-1 draw in the league opener over the weekend. How does it feel for you, opening the season with a draw?
It’s the start of a new season and even though we had hoped to start with a win, a draw wasn’t a bad outcome. We brought some new players in and we will gel with time. Hopefully we can win something at the end of the season and also qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
Thank you very much Austin
Culled from sl10