Brown IDEYE: “I believe I’ll play on the Africa Cup of Nations”

Brown IDEYE: “I believe I’ll play on the Africa Cup of Nations”

- How has training been in Faro?

- It has been very competitive as ever and the coaches have been trying out various methods to get the best from us. They have done so well preparing the team and that’s my honest view on that.

- South Africa 2013 will be your first major tournament with the Super Eagles since making your debut against Ghana in London. What are your targets and how far do you think the Eagles can go in the competition?

- Well… my main target with the team is to go very far in the Nations Cup, win all games because that’s the only way we could get to the finals and win the tournament. We have a good side that will perform at the Nations Cup and I’m confident of that.

- But with 17 new players making their debut at the biggest tournament in Africa like the Nations Cup, don’t you think that the team may lack experience when it matters most?

- You are right there but when Zambia lifted the Nations Cup in the last edition, they had no big star in their team but played as a group. They defeated some of those countries the pundits ‘d tipped to win the Nations Cup. We can do more than that with the crop of the players we have. These current Eagles are stronger as a group and I believe with the talents in this team, we will surpass the expectation of many Nigerians when the Nations Cup begins. I just want to urge Nigerians to support us all the way because other nations won’t do that for us. We need them to get behind us till the very end and we won’t disappoint.

- But don’t you think the performance of the Eagles in their recent friendly games has been the reason why most Nigerians are writing them off?

- Well, they should not judge us with that.

- Does that means that with our 5-0 win over Farense, a second division side  we have arrived?

- The essence of the test games is to help blend the team into a functional unit for the Nations Cup. We will perform in South Africa; I’m sure about that by the grace of God. You need to watch all these good players that we have in action in training. Nigerians should not think with the absence of some key players we will falter.

- So what do you make of our group games against Burkina Faso, Zambia and Ethiopia?

- It’s a good group for us, but we must stay focused to get what we want from the group. Like I said earlier, we must win each game if we must get to the finals. Zambia is a good side but we will match them when meet. Burkina Faso is our first game and we are looking forward to it with great expectation to emerge victorious. We will qualify from our group by God’s grace. We will respect them and get the job done through hard work.

- So aside from Nigeria,  which other countries do you think stand the chance to win the 2013 AFCON?

- Zambia will pull their weight as the defending champions while Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana are potential winners too. Don’t forget that we defeated the same Zambian side 2-0 in Kaduna.  So don’t write us off at all.

- You have scored just one goal in seven appearances for the Eagles, are you under pressure to replicate your club’s form at the national team?

- I’m not under any kind of pressure at all. I just try to get myself into positions to score and if I get the chance, why not?

The dream of every striker is to score goals whenever he is on the pitch. That will be part of aim when the Nations Cup begins but the team comes first. I hope to transfer my club form to country because we all know how important winning games is to Nigerians and as a team, we must get good results to advance to the next stage of the competition. I am happy with what I have seen in camp and my goals for the Eagles will come in South Africa.

- And you're not bothered about the scoring form of other strikers in the team?

- I have what it takes to lead the Eagles attack like all other strikers but the responsibility to choose who starts which game lies solely with the coach and I hope I can get the chance to prove what I can do in this tournament.

- On a final note, could you share with us how you felt when it was initially rumoured that you ‘ve been dropped from the squad?

- I was bothered about it all but I thank God that I eventually made the final squad list. The truth is that no player would like to be dropped at that stage but again, all of us cannot be picked at the same time. I believe there’s a reason for my inclusion and I just want to justify that with good performance in South Africa.

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