*Fit-again Arsenal forward back to training *Moses, Adi, Ighalo speak on Egypt
Ajimotokan in Abuja
Alex Iwobi caused a stir yesterday after falling ill on national duty as a result of food poisoning three days before the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash with Egypt.
The in-form Arsenal midfielder, stayed behind at the hotel, and was not among the 19 players that trained at the National Stadium, before leaving for Kaduna later in the day.
But later in the evening at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, Iwobi trained with Eagles, shrugging off the food poisoning that sidelined him earlier in the day.
The 19-year-old’s presence at the training put an end to speculations that he may not be available for the clash with Egypt.
However, while the team trained together, Iwobi worked with the team’s physio as he tried to build up stamina. The Arsenal player walked around the pitch a few times before he was put through aerobic exercises and light ball juggling.
Team Doctor, Ibrahim Gyaram, who tempered reporters’ concern, said that blood test indicated that the player suffered from an allergy called ‘Traveller’s Diarrhoea’, an ailment that results when a visitor eats in a new place.
Gyaram ruled out virus or anything other thing, stressing that Iwobi will be okay after resting yesterday.
“It results when you travel to a new place and you eat. People react differently. You can eat normal food and have it. The fact that Iwobi does not come here (Nigeria) regularly may have led to the diarrhea. It is nothing serious.
“He should be okay after a day. That is why when you travel, you are advised to avoid vegetable meals for the first two days as your body is susceptible to the effect of a new environment,” Gyaram lectured.
Super Eagles trained for about two hours under the supervision of interim coach Samson Siaisia and his assistants- Emmanuel Amuneke and Alloy Agu.
West Ham winger, Victor Moses expressed happiness he was back in the national team for the first time since the FIFA World Cup in Brazil two years ago. He has been battling recurring injury crisis.
Moses remarked that he was delighted to train with the group and make sure Nigeria defeats Egypt on Friday.
“I have been through injuries and stuff. I am just happy I want to train with them and make sure we win this important game. My goal is always to play for Nigeria,” he said.
He however warned Nigeria to brace up for unyielding Pharaohs that boast of the best record at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Egypt is a good and consistent African side that unfortunately went off the radar. Egypt is Egypt and we are Nigeria. We just have to concentrate on ourselves. It’s going to be a big game and hopefully we can get the points on Friday,” Moses warned.
Eagles new boy, Fanendo Adi, described his national call up as a dream fulfilled. He said it was a privileged for him to play for Nigeria, adding that he is in with the national team for a long haul.
The physically built Portland Timbers striker said he wanted to show his ability in a group of talented players that constitute the ranks of the Nigerian national team.
The MLS-based player warned Nigeria to be wary of Egypt which is a good side that may likely play the ball through the middle.
“We need to go into the match and try to win the game. We also know they (Egypt) are a good team. They are a side that like to play the ball and through the middle. I think if we play as a team collectively, definitely, we can be victorious,” Adi reasoned.
Despite lack of a previous link with the Nigerian at any level, Adi scoffed at suggestion of stage fright. He insisted that he plays in the big league and will concentrate on what he can do and help the team to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon next year.
Eagles front-man, Odion Ighalo, who is likely going to lead the attack on Friday, said Nigeria has what it takes to win in Kaduna, though beating the Pharaohs would not be an easy task.
The Watford hit-man described Egypt as a classy side with an enviable profile that cannot be matched by other Nigerian adversaries in Group G.
“Egypt is a traditional African football force that is obviously not on the same level with Tanzania and Chad. The Pharaohs are a formidable team. We have to be on top of our game to win this match; we must be 100 per cent ready; we must play attacking football and come all out, give our best and try to score in every chance we create. It is a home match, we must score early goals to avoid playing under undue pressure,” Ighalo appealed to his teammates.