Super Eagles midfielder Mikel Ndubuisi Agu has struggled to tie down a regular spot in the Nigeria national team despite impressing on the few occasions he’s tasted action, but the 26-year old who’s doing fantastically well with his Portuguese Primeira Liga side Vitoria Guimaraes reckons that time is not yet ripe for a sustained run in the Eagles for him.
In an exclusive interview with Complete Sports from Portugal, Agu insists he will keep working hard for his club and let his performance continue to speak for him.
Agu said: “I have done everything on my own part to settle in the national team, but yet I get ignored sometimes, I know my time is yet to come with the national team, I just want to make one thing clear. In the games that I have played in, my comfortable position as a holding-4, one was against Togo in Paris and the other was against Uganda in Asaba, I was one of the outstanding players in both games.
“I think the only game in which I didn’t play well was against Zambia in Uyo and that was because I had an off-day which is normal with every player. You can’t be 100 per cent everyday. So if I get to play in my natural position, then I know I will always give my best every time I’m on the pitch. I will continue to do my thing here in my club.”
Agu is one of the first names on the roster at Vitoria Guimaraes and The Conquerors have started strongly this season with three wins and a draw from their first six games. Agu credits the team spirit and reckons they can still do better.
“First of all, I will always put God first. Vitoria Guimaraes, like everyone around Europe knows, is top five best in the Portuguese league, so this is the position we deserve to always be in the league. We are still building our team, we have a lot of new players, almost 15 new players, so I believe our best is even yet to come,” he said.
Vitoria snapped up Portugal international Ricardo Quaresma and the 33-year has made an immediate impact at the Estadio Afonso Henriques and Agu is of the opinion that the former Chelsea man has brought a positive influence to the team.
Quaresma is an integral part of the team. What does he bring to the team with his vast experiences?
Agu: “His (Quaresma’s) presence has helped to bring brightness to the team and also to the club. As you know, he’s a very big person in football worldwide, so joining Vitória Guimaraes is a big positive to the team, and even in games he has been very effective also. Off the pitch, he’s very friendly and relates well with everyone in the team despite his big name.”
Formerly on the books of FC Porto, Agu has had an itinerant career moving to Club Brugge in Belgium and Bursaspor in Turkey alongside two stints at Vitoria Setubal in Portugal all on loan deals but he now appears to have found a home at Vitoria.
“Yes, yes, yes! Vitoria Guimaraes is my perfect home now, I’m very happy with the way everything is in shape now because it was too stressful changing from one club to another from one country to the next. The lack of stability really affected my game but I’m settled now.”
Though Agu has been overlooked for the games against Sierra Leone, nevertheless he wishes the team victory and maximum points in the two-legged encounter.
“I’m a Nigerian, first and foremost, so I will always support the Super Eagles whether I’m in the team or not. I know I will be back soon so I wish them best of luck,” he concluded.
By Kayode Ogundare
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