Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo insists Norwich City will not be relegated at the end of the 2013/14 Barclays English Premier League season. The Canaries currently sit just one point above the relegation zone with 12 rounds of games still to come.
Norwich are 6/4 with bet365 to be relegated at the end of the season but Yobo takes heart from his successful battle against relegation with former club Everton in the 2003/04 season.
The 33-year old is determined to ensure Norwich stay in the top flight and believes the experience he garnered during his time with the Toffees will put him in a strong position to accomplish that feat.
“It wasn’t great. It was a similar situation in as much if you were not careful you could be relegated but over the years we got better and better at Everton and we ended up a top seven team,” Yobo told The Pink ‘Un.
Former Nigerian international, Ademola Adesina needs no introduction when it comes to Nigerian football, having played for the country at the highest levels in Africa and at the Seoul’88 Olympic Games.
Being one of the few Nigerian players to score on their debut, Adesina has called on the Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF) to allow coach Stephen Keshi have maximum concentration ahead of the World Cup in Brazil.
Currently the technical advisor of Nigeria National League team, Prime F.C. Adeshina who played for local sides, Abiola Babes and Shooting Stars F.C., before a brief spell in Belgium, with Sporting Lokeren noted that several talks about bringing a foreign technical assistant or not for Keshi should not be an issue that should raise dust because they are distractions to the coach and his technical crew.
“Going by the recent developments in the football house where many have said that the federation is toying with the thought of bringing someone to work with Keshi is purely going to distract whatever plans that the coach has planned ahead of the World Cup.”
Adeshina who represented Nigeria at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and made several appearances for the senior Nigeria national football team, including five FIFA World Cup qualifying matches noted that so much work still needs to be done and only total concentration can make the difference for the team.
“I can’t understand why Keshi who is today Nigeria’s most successful coach would be disturbed by anyone. Aside coach Clemens Westerhof, who took five years to build a team and qualify Nigeria for her first World Cup in 1994, Keshi as far as I’m concerned has achieved in just two years of being in-charge of the Super Eagles.”
Nigeria striker Bright Dike may miss the 2014 World Cup after he suffered a leg injury in training on Monday. Unconfirmed reports say he suffered an Achilles tendon injury, but the club statement announced it as a leg injury.
“Striker Bright Dike sustained a leg injury Monday morning while practicing with the team in Orlando, Florida. He will return to Toronto on Tuesday for further evaluation by the team’s medical staff,” the club statement read.
Nigeria international may well have torn his Achilles tendon for the third time in two-and-a-half years, the first been during the 2011 pre-season for Portland Timbers, but recovered to made his MLS debut in August 2011.
The striker also tore his ACL during the 2013 pre-season with Portland, and was sidelined until September, making his Toronto FC debut after being traded from the Timbers that month.
Though he did not directly address the injury, Dike tweeted the following earlier on Monday, “Worst day of my life.” (Bright Dike (@bbright19)
Nigeria stars have said next month’s World Cup warm-up against Mexico will be taken very seriously as it could determine their fate.
The Super Eagles face fellow World Cup finalists Mexico on March 5 in Atalanta, Georgia, USA, as they step up their preparations for the World Cup in Brazil in June.
Eagles first-choice goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama said a favourable outcome would lift team confidence. “The game will be a good one for us, it will boost our confidence level as the World Cup approaches,” the Lille star said.
Superstar actress Genevieve Nnaji and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi were photographed getting into a private jet in South Africa recently. The two successful stars are both single.
Fit-again Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi has told MTNFootball.com that he still believes he has a place in coach Stephen Keshi’s team even after he was snubbed for next month’s friendly against Mexico.
Obasi, who has won 18 international caps for Nigeria, has been upbeat he will soon earn an Eagles recall after he bounced back from a long-term injury.
“The coach’s decision is final, you can’t query him for that, but that does not mean the door is closed for me,” Obasi told MTNFootball.com.
“The best way to be in the team is to support them despite not being there. I am a Nigerian, a proud one. I got a lot from Nigeria and I am happy to be a patriotic citizen.”
He added: “As a matter of fact, I don’t have anything against ‘Big Boss’ Keshi. Of course, I want to still play for Nigeria for long period like any other player, but the truth is that we can’t all be there at same time and some won’t even be there.” .
Ahmed Musa hit target for CSKA Moscow in a pre-season game as next month’s World Cup warm-up against Mexico approaches.
The Nigeria international forward scored the second goal against Videoton FC in Spain in the 75th minute after Ivorian striker Seydou Doumbia netted the first goal.
The former JUTH FC of Jos winger told MTNFootball.com he is looking ahead to the friendly against Mexico as well as the restart of the Russian league.
“I am always happy when I score a goal and contribute to my team’s victory. I am working hard in pre-season to be at my best as I look forward to the resumption of the league in Russia as well as the friendly against Mexico in the USA,” Musa told MTNFootball.com
Ahmed Musa scored five goals in 19 games in the first round of the season. CSKA will face Sokol Saratov in the Russian Cup quarterfinal on March 2.
Ikechukwu Uche is most likely to again miss out on the World Cup after coach Stephen Keshi said he lacks discipline.
The Villarreal striker has fired 12 goals thus far in the Spanish La Liga, but Keshi has again overlooked him for next month’s crucial World Cup warm-up against Mexico.
Keshi has defended his decision by telling the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) technical committee the striker is not disciplined.
“Keshi said Ikechukwu (Uche) is not disciplined and that was why he did not call him up for the Mexico game,” a top official told MTNFootball.com
The striker has already said he will not be shocked if he does not make the final squad to Brazil 2014 despite his goals in the Spanish top flight. Uche missed out on the 2010 World Cup on account of injury.
Nigerian sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, has assured that government will fund the country’s team to the World Cup in June. The minister gave the assurances that cash will be available for the team in good time.
“The Nigeria football Federation has submitted their financial plans to the National Sports Commission and we have finished work on it and sent it to the appropriate quarters and we believe that it would receive priority attention,” Abdullahi disclosed.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the plans for the World Cup would go very well.
“We would give all the support that is necessary to the Nigeria football Federation to succeed because if they succeed, everyone is happy.”
Nigeria face Mexico on March 5 in a warm-up game and several other tune-up matches are planned for the team.
Top coaches Christian Chukwu and John Obuh have decried the premature exit of Kano Pillars from the CAF Champions League at the weekend.
Nigeria champions Pillars crashed out in the very first hurdle when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to AS Vita of DR Congo.
Former Nigeria coach Christian Chukwu described Pillars elimination as unfortunate and an embarrassment to the country.
“Pillars’ elimination was quite unfortunate. They did their best, but it was not good enough,” lamented Chukwu.
“No doubt, the non-start of the league contributed a lot to this loss just as the management’s delay in picking a coach cannot be too far away as one of the reason for this shock exit.”