Super Eagles midfielder Onazi has underlined the importance of winning Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Libya in Uyo in this interview with Completesportsnigeria.com’s Johnny Edward. Excerpts….
Before the 2019 AFCON qualifying match against Seychelles in Victoria, you couldn’t make an appearance for the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.What has been the motivation to continue playing for the team?
The world cup was a very disappointing one for me, but in life you have to be able to realise where mistakes where made and how well to correct them. This will make you come back better. I had some fitness issues but I came back stronger.
So what did you do differently getting back into shape?
For me it was just a mindset. The most important thing in life is when you make mistakes, you learn from them.I was dedicated and focused to get back into good shape. I resumed pre-season training earlier than other players. I wanted to correct that. So now things are working well and I pray it continues this way.
Nigeria face Group E leaders, Libya in Uyo in less than 24 hours. And the second leg is on Tuesday in Ajax. How confident are you that the Super Eagles can secure six points from the double-header?
We have been training hard and the coach has studied them well. I don’t think we stand a big chance if we fail to win at home in Uyo. We have no excuse but to win. We have studied how they play and coach knows what to do.
We have enough quality to get past Libya, but we must be very careful. It’s a very important game for us and we know it means a lot for us to win this gam, we how important it is for Nigerians.
We are putting in all it takes to win. Every time we come to the country to play, we always give our best because it’s a privilege to play for this country. We have been training for this past few days and we are putting finishing touches to our preparations. I hope and pray that come Saturday, God will give us the grace to win.
What if you don’t get to play?
I will support the team totally. Every player is good enough to earn a starting place in the team. But we have to win and to do that the best players must be fielded.
Anthony Nwakaeme joined you at Trabzonspor from Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the summer. How do you feel about it?
Nwakaeme is a good player and I’m happy he’s with us now. I was notified by the club President when he was on the verge of joining and I said he will be a good addition to our team. I helped him settle into Trabzonspors, but no doubt, he is a good player.
I had to explain to him how fanatic Trabzonspor fans are. They just want to win and nothing more. His arrival also helps me a lot now because it used to be a bit lonely for me there at Trabzonspor. I hope we get to our targets this season.