Ikeme Eager to return to Eagles


Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, is eager to make a return to the Nigeria national team after being sidelined by injury in recent weeks.

The goalkeeper was one of several notable absentees as Nigeria suffered a shock 0-2 defeat to South Africa in 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying.

Ikeme is now approaching full fitness and says the horizon looks bright.
“It’s been slow and tough,” Ikeme told www.thenff.com.
“It was something I was carrying for a long time.

“I couldn’t play or train. It took more than a normal hamstring injury.
“I have been working hard every day with the physios and hopefully, I’m closer to getting back to training.
“We start our pre-season on Monday so hopefully, I can start building up in training and hopefully, I can be available for our games and the Nigeria games coming up as well,” he said.

Ikeme also took the time to discuss Nigeria’s last 2019 AFCON qualifier against South Africa expressing confidence that the Super Eagles will overcome the setback of the loss to Bafana Bafana and bounce back in style.
“Yes, I was watching the game. Like you said, it’s our first competitive loss against them.
“There are still plenty of games to play to qualify for the Cup of Nations, so we are still confident that we will qualify.

“We have a good team and a good coach as well, so I’m sure we will be okay.
“Of course (I am looking forward to the 2019 AFCON).

“It’s a massive competition. We didn’t qualify for the last one, so our focus would be on that.
“It will require hard work and staying together as a group. We are confident that we will still qualify,” he said.
Ikeme concluded by assessing Nigeria’s chances against African champions, Cameroon in the upcoming double header in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

“Yes, they are a top side you know. It’s not going to be easy.
“They have played a lot together recently. They are in the Confederations Cup but we are confident going into the games.
“Like I said, it’s not going to be easy,” he said.