Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 November 2012

Nigeria: Igiebor, Ameobi, Dike Excite Keshi

Photo: 2010 FIFA OC
File Photo: A Super Eagles fan.

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi yesterday praised his wards after a stunning 3-1 win over Venezuela in an international friendly games, saying he was particularly impressed with the performance of Nosa Igiebor, Shola Ameobi and Bright Dike.

Keshi, who stated this at the post match press conference, said he was simply excited by the performance of his players especially the newcomers to the team.

"But look at that goal by Nosa Igiebor, it was a television goal and I was excited when it came, it shows we can do great things if we psyche ourselves up very well. At half time, I told them, put the ball on the ground and play quick and the goals will come and I was not surprised that once they did that the goals started to come. Like I will always say, it's still work in progress and we can only get better", he said.

Keshi also had special words for Eagles debutants, Shola Ameobi, who does not speak a word of Yoruba and Bright Dike, who is also handicapped in Ibo. "Shola was awesome the moment he got into the pitch. He showed his experience in the game and even when he was provoked his calmness was amazing. He was talking to the other players on what to do at a time we were under pressure and he was resilient, we sure need his experience for big tournaments. Look at the way and manner he shielded the ball, evaded being brought down before passing to Mba, who also gave it to Onazi for our third goal, Shola is a special player".

On Dike, he said the power playing forward has a future with the national team. "He's quick, aggressive and always coming back to defend and it was difficult for anyone to say this was the first time he was playing for Nigeria. I'm so happy that Bright did not disappoint and we will see when camp opens what he can do for the team.

Keshi also applauded the entire team but noted that his defence line was a bit shaky, because gangling defender, Azubuike Egwueke was suffering from back pains. "We just asked him to hand on and he did very well, otherwise every other person in the defence line was very good.

Nigeria, Keshi noted was gradually returning to the days of honour in football and he's happy to be part of the rebuilding process. "Let us all join hands to return the game to the height that it was when we were playing, no matter the grouse we may have", he said.

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