Troost-Ekong: Nigeria’s Super Eagles will rise again after recent setbacks

The 28-year-old shares some of his heartache after their Afcon disappointment and failed bid to reach 2022 World Cup finals
The 28-year-old shares some of his heartache after their Afcon disappointment and failed bid to reach 2022 World Cup finals

Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong believes the Super Eagles will rise again after their recent setbacks in international assignments.

The Super Eagles have endured a disappointing campaign in the last few months. First, they suffered disappointment at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and later failed to clinch qualification for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

In Cameroon, Augustine Eguavoen’s side failed to go past the Round of 16 despite winning all their group matches after losing 1-0 against Tunisia. The Super Eagles then turned their focus to the World Cup qualification playoffs where they came up against Ghana.

After claiming a 0-0 draw in the first leg meeting in Kumasi, they earned a 1-1 draw in the return fixture in Abuja, a result that saw the Black Stars qualify for the finals in Qatar on the away goals rule.

The 28-year-old Troost-Ekong, who features for relegated Watford in England, believes the team will come back stronger from the disappointments.

“It has been a tough few months for all of us, it’s a big heartache we have to keep on moving,” Troost-Ekong told reporters as quoted by Completesports.

“When you fall down you have to stand up again, this team has been down before and came back and I believe we will do it again.”

Nigeria are currently in Dallas, USA, in readiness for their friendly matches against Mexico and Ecuador and Troost-Ekong believes the two fixtures will give the Super Eagles a good chance to refresh ahead of the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.

“We all arrive from a long travel here in Dallas it was amazing to meet the coach and the new coaching crew,” Troost-Ekong continued.

“Training was good it is great to see there are lots of home-based players here as well who have the chance to show themselves. Everyone is in good spirit and we are waiting for one or two more late arrivals and we are preparing well for the game against Mexico.

“So it’s great to be up for the friendly games and a chance to play in the Afcon qualifiers in the next few weeks, that would be a great chance for us to refresh and refocus ourselves and the focus would be on the next Afcon.

“Lastly, I have to say a big thank you to the fans, I will ask them and encourage them to stay behind the team we all know how much it means for us. We really appreciate your support so please stay behind the team.”

Nigeria will face Mexico led by new manager Jose Peseiro at AT&T Stadium on Sunday before they come up against Ecuador at Red Bull Arena on June 3.