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.
â€œIt’s been slow and tough,â€ Ikeme told www.thenff.com.
â€œIt was something I was carrying for a long time.
â€œI couldn’t play or train. It took more than a normal hamstring injury.
â€œI have been working hard every day with the physios and hopefully, I’m closer to getting back to training.
â€œWe 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,â€ he said.
Ikeme also took the time to discuss Nigeriaâ€™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.
â€œYes, I was watching the game. Like you said, it’s our first competitive loss against them.
â€œThere are still plenty of games to play to qualify for the Cup of Nations, so we are still confident that we will qualify.
â€œWe have a good team and a good coach as well, so I’m sure we will be okay.
â€œOf course (I am looking forward to the 2019 AFCON).
â€œIt’s a massive competition. We didn’t qualify for the last one, so our focus would be on that.
â€œIt will require hard work and staying together as a group. We are confident that we will still qualify,â€ he said.
Ikeme concluded by assessing Nigeriaâ€™s chances against African champions, Cameroon in the upcoming double header in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
â€œYes, they are a top side you know. It’s not going to be easy.
â€œThey have played a lot together recently. They are in the Confederations Cup but we are confident going into the games.
â€œLike I said, it’s not going to be easy,â€ he said.