Leicester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho insists he always believe in his ability to turn things around during his difficult spell at the club.
Iheanacho has played second fiddle to Jamie Vardy since linking up with the Foxes and the arrival of Ayoze Perez further pushed him down the pecking order.
The 24-year-old was also dropped from Nigeria’s squad to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after failing to feature regularly for the former Premier League champions.
The striker fortunes has however changed in recent months as he has scored 10 Premier League goals since the start of March.
Iheanacho was named Premier League player of the Month for March and is on course for a double award for the month of April.
“I think a lot of people wrote me off, but I never lost faith in myself,” Iheanacho told BBC Sport Africa.
“I was going through a crazy and difficult time when things just didn’t work out for me.
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“But I’ve worked extremely hard, and also have the manager and other staff at Leicester, and most importantly my brother and friend Wilfred [Ndidi] who stood by me.
“It’s been a really tough ride but I’m just delighted it’s all come together for me.”
Iheanacho is the Foxes’ top scorer this season with 18 goals, the first time since 2014-15 that Jamie Vardy has been in danger of not leading the way.
A far cry from a striker who had to wait 14 months for a Premier League goal between September 2018 to December 2019 leading to some severe criticism.
Among those who criticised Iheanacho was the Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr who publicly questioned his commitment and professionalism to the national team back in 2019.
Having helped Leicester City to their first FA Cup final since 1969 and playing a huge role in their quest for Champions League football, the player believes his latest form goes some way to answering his critics.
“It was truly a bad patch and we all know that some people are always too quick to judge,” he said.
“To hear some people come out now and start saying positive things again is only normal but I don’t even bother.
“I only have to prove to myself that I can do this consistently, continue to grow, help my club and country when I get the chance to play.
“We have a lot ahead of us. It’s that time of the season where you want to fight for everything in front of you and not get carried away.”Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.
I thank God on your behalf Nacho. You see gentleman, everything has is own time. It is normal, that is life. You just have to be focused and prayerful. It is not that easy my man though.
“Among those who criticised Iheanacho was the Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr who publicly questioned his commitment and professionalism to the national team back in 2019”.
Well, I can’t say much about this because as a coach, he has a role to play but I’m not sure if Oga has played his role as a father and a world class coach.
But look young man, don’t see that as a threat but see it as a challenge because if that didn’t happen, you may not be where you are today.
He did that to Onuachu, the guy have putting the manager and his fans in their place.
One of his fans even posted Onuachu’s video on CSN mocking the innocent man for nothing but today, he is one of us that shanty Onuachu’s name. That is life.
To hear some people come out now and start saying positive things again is only normal but I don’t even bother.
I never did. I stood by you because I believe in your ability. Don’t see those people as your enemies, they are part of your progress. Because if they did not pushing you to the wall back then, you may think you have arrived.
As they did to Onuachu, they are now doing it to you.
I know you never relents. Just keep your head up. God loves you.
Lesson to be learned from Onuachu and Nacho stories. Never look down on anyone because they are facing deficulties.
I am very happy for you Nacho. God bless Nigerians and Nigeria!!!