Super Eagles defender Azubuike Egwuekwe has said that he wants to regain his first-team place in the national team after he was confined to the bench at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Azubuike was the preferred choice by Coach Stephen Keshi until he suffered chicken pox on the eve of the AFCON and lost his place in the heart of the Eagles defence to Godfrey Oboabona.
But speaking in an interview with MTNFootball.com, Egwuekwe however said he did not regret sitting on the bench because those picked ahead of his illness did not disappoint.
Egwuekwe, who said he would have loved to be part of the action in South Africa, singled out John Mikel Obi, Sunday Mbah and Emmanuel Emenike for doing very well.
"It wasn't my fault or that of the coach but due to illness. I was looking good to continue my impressive run with the team until I fell sick in Faro, by the time I recovered in South Africa, the team were doing well and the coaches had no reason to change the winning team.
"I didn't regret sitting on the bench at AFCON because those called upon did well, but I would have been happier to be part of the action".
"Every player given the opportunity to play did well, but I was impressed with Mikel, Emmanuel Emenike and Sunday Mba. They really did well", he said.
He described Super Eagles handler Stephen Keshi as a great manager, who knows how to talk and bring out the best in his players.
"He is a great manager, he knows how to talk and bring out the best in his players. He talked to us a lot and always told us he believes in us as individuals and as a team to do well against any team. Those words really inspired us".