Vanguard (Lagos)

28 February 2013

Nigeria: Ameobi, Martins Still in Keshi's Plan

Nigerians may have forgiven Shola Ameobi for declining a place in the Super Eagles team that won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup but the coach of the team from his words may give another chance to the Newcastle striker as the team starts preparation for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in March.

Keshi said on a television programme that he sees a bit of himself in the striker who made his debut against Venezuela last year.

"I think I need Shola Ameobi because Ameobi coming for the Venezuela game - you could see a different presence in the locker room," Keshi told SuperSport.

"He came with a coaching ability, he came in with this togetherness that says we are together wherever you might have come from.

"When he talked to the boys, they listened and I said wow - this is what I am looking for on the field. Somebody who can talk for me on the field because I know when I was playing as a captain - I know what I do.

"And we talked and he was really ready to come but whatever he had in his contract denied him from coming," Keshi added.

Keshi also said that he will invite Obafemi Martins for the Super Eagles in the future but he must be ready to come.

"Martins wasn't ready for the Cup of Nations but he is still part of the group.

"And when he gets his next call-up, if he wants to come, we will see how it goes," Keshi concluded.

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