Completesportsnigera.com's JOHNNY EDWARD gets Super Eagles and Hoapoel Beer Sheva of Israel midfielder JOHN OGU talking about his return to the Nigeria team after almost one and half years. Ogu also lets you the reader in the know about his new targets playing for Nigeria and his UEFA Europa League title chase with Hapoel Beer Sheva. Excerpts …
Completesportsnigeria.com: How delighted are you returning to the Super Eagles after 15 months?
Ogu: It’s a great feeling and experience, getting to work with a new coach and getting to compete with new players. For me it feels great to represent my country always and I want to show the coach I’m back and ready to make a good impact to the team positively.
What's your impression about Gernot Rohr and what was his tactical plan like in the Algeria game?
It was great. Working with a professional coach like him who has the aim of winning always and for me that is good for the team. Rohr likes hardworking players who are ready to fight for the team. He stands out among other coaches I’ve played under. He shows a wonderful experience and great knowledge of the game. We having a foreign coach is a big plus to the team and It’s a great way to move forward in our football.
We have new set of players in the team battling for different positions, Ogu how has this challenged you, with the highly rated Wilfred Ndidi battling with you for a place in the team's midfield?
I’m always ready for challenges, it was nice meeting those qualities we have now in midfield. We have a good squad now consisting of talented and young players, if am given the opportunity, I will help more with my own style of play because all the country needs now is to win games and win back the fans. The Eagles are stronger now with the new crops of players in the squad.
Under Gernot Rohr, Super Eagles have recorded three wins and are currently leading their group in the 2018 World Cup qualifying series. With Cameroun coming to Uyo in nine months, what's our our chances of making it to Russia 2018 in your opinion?
Yes, our chances are bright, but qualifying for the World Cup won't come without a fight from the Cameroonians. We have a good coach who is willing to give his best for the team, with this mentality; we have a big chance of beating Cameroun. We have played two games already and everyone could see the team has a big chance to make it to the World Cup. All we need to do is to maintain the philosophy and ensure that we take our chances during games.
You have been a key player for Hapoel Beer Sheva this season with the Camels stretching their lead on the Israeli Lig Al table to five points last weekend over Maccabi Tel Aviv. What are your targets with your team this season?
We will host Inter Milan on Thursday and we are confident that we will win to brighten our chances of qualifying for the next round of the competition. The game against Inter will determine our fate in the competition. We have to focus more and hopefully, with the support of our fans, we must stay in the competition.
There have been several reports linking you away from Israel next summer. Would you see the new two year deal you signed at the club in July through?
I am happy to have signed that deal and to continue playing for Hapoel Be'er Sheva is a source of joy to me. I moved to Israel two seasons ago and it has been great support and love I have been receiving, but who knows what can happen in the future. Forr now, I’m focussed in getting Hapoel on the bigger map of world football.
How would you rate your performance in this outgoing year?
Playing games in the UEFA Europa League makes me much better and it also helps me compete at a level close to the UEFA Champions League. We are top of the table with five points and I am trying to build myself bigger to win games and win titles for my children. I am not looking forward to personal achievement, but I'm looking forward to a collective achievement in order to win titles.