Super Eagles and Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is confident Nigeria will return to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 after missing back-to-back tournaments in 2015 and 2017 despite the unavailability of some regular players for the forthcoming qualifying match agianst South Africa in Johannesburg.
Ndidi, 21, who is suspended for this weekend’s clash against the Bafana Bafana due to two yellow cards, believes the Super Eagles players are eager to make amends on their 2018 World Cup disappointment where they failed to reach the Second Round.
“We have a big opportunity to return to the Nations Cup and I believe the players can make it happen,”Ndidi told the BBC
“The World Cup is gone and we’ve been winning games after Russia, and it is an extra motivation to prove that we learned from the mistake of missing the last two tournaments in Africa.”
“It is my dream to play in Cameroon next year, my teammates share the same ambition and we have a big chance to make it happen now.”
Ndidi also believes that injuries to key players and suspension should not be a setback to the Super Eagles when they face the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
“We’ve suffered some setbacks but that is all part of the game, but I don’t think that is enough to stop us.”
“Injury and suspension should not prevent us, it’s been tough because other players at the club will tease you if you don’t play in big tournaments.
“For our careers, our country and fans we should be playing in the Nations Cup and we have to make it happen now.”
Nigeria are top of Group E of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers with nine points from four matches – a point ahead of second-placed South Africa. The three-time African champions will seal qualification to next year’s tournament if they beat Bafana Bafana on 17 November.