Eagles update: Keshi charges Eagles to work hard



Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has told his players there is no substitute for hardwork.

The Eagles arrived in Calabar on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s game against Rwanda in an Africa Cup of Nation’s qualifier.

Nigeria drew the first leg in Rwanda 0-0 and need a win of any kind to go through to the next stage of qualifiers.

“My players must continue to work hard,” Keshi said on arrival.

“There is no substitute for hard work and I have told them all that. This Rwanda game is one that we must win,” Keshi said.

The Big Boss, as he is called said the team had no time to train on the pitch in Malawi since they arrived late and it was already dark when they got to the stadium for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifier.

“We went to the stadium anyway to get a feel of the pitch but they refused to turn on the lights so we could not have a good feel of the pitch before the game.

“However, I am not making excuses for the draw. That Malawian side we met have been a team for a very long time. At least I played against them when I was with Mali.

“In contrast, my team have been together for just six months. We will get there,” Keshi enthused.

Funfair on arrival

The Super Eagles arrived Calabar, the Cross River State capital on Tuesday afternoon via an Arik Airplane after a 55minutes flight from Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The team led by Head Coach, Stephen Keshi touched down at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, at about 12:40pm and were received as usual with dancing and singing by a cultural troupe and some women footballers.

At the head of the reception party was the State Sports Commissioner, Patrick Ugbe, Special Adviser on Security to the governor, Rekpene Bassey and NFF Head, Technical, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme.

Speaking at the airport reception, Ugbe, said Governor Liyel Imoke, wishes the team another splendid stay in Calabar, and he will again personally lead football supporters to cheer the Eagles to victory on Saturday.

“The Governor is presently out of the country, but you have his total and unflinching support and he has said he will be here to cheer the team on Saturday”, he said.

Like it happened two weeks ago, the team was led to their Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel abode with singing and drumming, before they had lunch at the hotel at about 2pm.

Thereafter the team headed for the Abraham Ordia Stadium in the University of Calabar, where they had their first workout for the game against the Wasps of Rwanda.

The team will move to the UJ Esuene Stadium from Wednesday morning, for the final phase of its training for the Nations Cup qualifier on Saturday.
Keshi Seeks Goals For In-law Imoke
Keshi, has urged his wards to make him happy on Saturday by scoring plenty of goals against Rwanda, to thank Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River, who is his inlaw for the wonderful support he has offered not only the national teams but sports in general.

Governor Imoke had told Keshi two weeks ago that he was his in-law, since his wife, Mrs Obioma Liyel Imoke, is a native of Ilah in Delta state, where incidentally, Keshi hails from.

Speaking on arrival in Calabar on Tuesday, Keshi said it was time to pay back the good that has been shown him and the national team by his in-law.

“Last time, we were not quite satisfied with the goals that we scored against Namibia, but the governor was still happy that we won the game. This time around we want to take it to the next level by ensuring that we score more goals, so that I can even demand for a room to sleep and rest in Calabar in my in-law’s house. The players have promised that they will rise up to the occasion”, he said.

On his part, Sunshine Stars defence ace, Godfrey Oboabona, who has become a regular in the national team, said the team has forgotten what transpired in Blantyre last week against Malawi, and are ready to roast Rwanda with goals come Saturday.
“We are not boasting but we know we are a better team and we will show that on Saturday when we face Rwanda. Nigerians should just come out en masse to cheer us”.
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