Nigeria defender Elderson Echiejile
Nigeria defender Elderson Echiejile has said the Eagles have to put their bodies on the line to win Saturday’s AFCON clash in Liberia.
Nigeria battle fellow West Africans Liberia for a place in next year’s Nations Cup to be staged in South Africa.
And Sporting Braga of Portugal star Echiejile said that the Eagles will have to be at their best to ensure qualification.
“This match is fight to finish and anyone telling you that it will be easy for us in Liberia, does not know football,” said Echiejile, who joined the Eagles training camp in Abuja Tuesday morning.
“Nobody expected us not to qualify for the last Nations Cup, but Guinea came to Abuja and got the result they needed to qualify ahead of us.
“I’m very sure that we have all learnt that very bitter lesson and as such we cannot afford to take any chances. Rather I expect us to do everything including putting our bodies on the line so as to ensure victory on Saturday.”
Echiejile’s rallying call for total commitment runs contrary to widely held belief that the country’s pros are often very mindful of their careers when they are on duty for Nigeria.
“We all love Nigeria and for many of us we are in Europe today because this country gave us the opportunity,” further stressed the left back who featured at the 2010 AFCON in Angola.
“We are ready to spill our last blood for our country at any given time and I believe this resolve will again be evident in Monrovia.”
In the meantime, more foreign pros have joined up with the Eagles for the Liberia face-off.
Real Betis of Spain midfielder Nosa Igiebor took the number of foreign-based arrivals in the Eagles camp to eight.
Nosa, whose club were in action Monday night in the Spanish La Liga, entered the Eagles camp in the early hours of Tuesday.
His arrival swelled the Eagles camp to 21 players.
More players including captain Joseph Yobo are expected to hit camp before the Eagles Tuesday evening training session.
Victor Moses and Obiora Nwankwo were the early birds, while Ike Uche, Brown Ideye, Efe Ambrose, Elderson Echejile, Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Emenike and Nosa Igiebor have since followed suit.
The AFCON qualifier will kick off at 6pm Liberian time (7pm Nigerian time) on Saturday inside the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium.