Ighalo: Bring On Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ighalo: Bring On Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria

Posted: Nov 24, 2015 at 7:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…prefers team success to personal glory

Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has said Nigeria is not afraid of meeting top sides like Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria when the final phase of the World Cup qualifiers begins in 2016.

The Sunday Oliseh-led team which struggled to defeat Swaziland 2-0 over two legs to qualify for the group stage is not likely to be seeded when the draws are held in Cairo, Egypt, on June 24, 2016, and could be up against top teams on the continent.

The Watford of England striker believes the team will be stronger before the qualifiers and will surely clinch one of the five slots allocated to Africa for the World Cup to be hosted by Russia in 2018. “We have a very young team that will grow and get better with time,” he said.

“I am sure between now and June next year, the team would have forged a great bond and play better as a unit. “I don’t think we should be talking about avoiding any team in the group stage, because there are no push overs anymore in African football.

“We all saw what Swaziland did to us in the last round, so saying we want to avoid a particular team shows we are not up to standard, I believe we can face any team.”

The striker also said he preferred his team to be successful to personal target of scoring goals. Ighalo wondered what the essence of scoring was if at the end of the game his team failed to win. He said: “I play for the team, play to the coach’s instructions and I am always happy when my team gets victory.

“I would love to always score goals for Nigeria like I am doing for Watford because that is what Nigerians want but I also want to put my team ahead of my personal ambition.

“I know it is not going to be easy with so many new players in the team, I just want Nigerians to be patient with us as we strive hard to get to the level they desire of us as a team.”