–Resurgent star boasts Eagles will redeem their pride in Congo…
CSK Moscow of Russia speedy forward, Ahmed Musa has expressed the optimism that the Super Eagles will carry the momentum of the victory over Sudan in Abuja last month , to Point Noire when they clash with the Red Devils of Congo in match day five of the AFCON 2015 qualifiers.
The AFCON 2013 winner in this interview with RICHARD JIDEAKA in Abuja , said Congo must fall as they cannot stop the Super Eagles AFCON defence dream.
Obviously Congo would be aiming to beat the Super Eagles for a second time, how ready are the Super Eagles for these final qualifying matches of the African Nations Cup?
We are quite ready to go to Congo and get a good result that will keep our AFCON defence hopes alive, come Saturday (today) we shall do to them what they did to us in Calabar. If they could beat us on our home ground, we can do the same to them in Point Noire. We are still pained that we lost the first -leg in Calabar and nothing will please us more than to go to their home and inflict the same pain on them with a win. We are determined and raring to take our pound of flesh come Saturday (today). We shall return smiling and then beat South Africa to qualify.
Are you surprised that Nigeria has found herself in this struggling position in the race to qualify for AFCON?
I am not surprised because that is football, sometimes it favors you and sometimes it is against you. We are in it already and we just have to work very hard to see what we shall achieve at the end of the two matches left in the qualifiers.
Are the players worried about our position on the group B log of the qualifiers?
The players are not only worried but embarrassed by where we are on the log. We have to work hard to climb out of the position of qualifying for AFCON 2015.
Do you see yourself emerging the African Footballer Of The Year and of what importance is it to you?
I have worked very hard to get nominated for the African footballer of the year 2014. It is not easy to make the list and it has been a long while since any Nigeria player won it. If I win the award, it will enhance my career and CV.
Do you think Nigeria can still make it to the AFCON 2015?
I am very positive that Nigeria will make it to the AFCON 2015 to defend the trophy we won last year in South Africa. It is a difficult task but we are equal to the task and Insha Allah, we shall make it.
Which of the matches you played in the qualifiers was the toughest in your estimation- Calabar, Cape Town, Khartoum or Abuja?
I think the one we played against Sudan in Abuja was the toughest because we needed to dig deep to beat them 3-1. Others were tough but the pressure was much in the Abuja game and I am happy we won.
Will the Super Eagles be under pressure to beat Congo in Point Noire.
I think the pressure will be on Congo to repeat the 3-2 win against us in Calabar. The expectation of their fans will work against them. We shall take the battle to them and force them to commit blunders that will give us advantage to win, they will be under pressure playing at home.
What were the things you did wrong in the first leg in Calabar that you don’t want to repeat in Congo?
I don’t think we did anything wrong in that game in Calabar other than that we under rated the Congolese. Apart from that, I think, we were also unlucky. The spirit in camp is very high and all the players are waiting for Saturday (today) to get the match done.
You are one of the most in -form Nigerian players in Europe now, will you reproduce that form for Nigeria in Congo?
I am just enjoying my game now and I pray that God gives me the power and spirit to play well on that day for my country. All things being equal, I hope to score at least a goal in Congo.
Playing on artificial pitch and against hostile home fans, will these not affect your game and the Eagles at Point Noire?
I am no stranger to playing on artificial pitch because that is what we have mostly in Eastern Europe where I play. But even at that , we are professionals and have learnt to adjust to Africa’s bad pitches and artificial pitches, so we will survive there. As for the hostile fans, I don’t think they will distract us on Saturday (today), we are also used to such crowds in our career.
There is this report that your club like others in Russia, is facing financial problems and that you may have to take a pay cut.
It is true that there are financial problems in our league but nobody has asked me to take a pay cut to remain at the club. If they do, I will consider other options.
Do the other options you talked about include moving to another club?
I may move to another club that will at least sustain my wages or pay me more. But I must say that I am happy with the club and I am enjoying my career.
How far can CSK Moscow go in the European Champions league, where you have caused a stir with victory over Manchester City?
We are happy that we are still in the race to qualify from a group regarded as one of the toughest in the Champions League. We want to reach the knock out stage and see how far we can go.
Any prediction against Congo?
We shall win by 3-1, by the grace of God.