Super Eagles goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa has described the two friendly games against Corsica and Togo as very important for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations against South Africa on June 10, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Ezenwa, who keeps for FC IfeanyiUbah in the Nigeria Professional Football League, is one of four home-based players invited by coach Gernot Rohr for the friendlies against a Corsica XI and Togo which come up on Fridayand Thursday, June 1 respectively.
The three other home-based players are MFM duo Stephen Odey and Sikiru Olatunbosun, and Akwa United's Alhassan Ibrahim.
"The friendly games against Corsica and Togo are huge ones because it is part of the preparations for the AFCON qualifiers and the World Cup qualifiers," Ezenwa told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I think the expectation is high because we have a lot of players coming in for the first time and some other players that have been in the team.
"We need to go there and make the country proud, that's the most important thing. And making the country proud is all about determination and I think we are ready to do it."
Ezenwa expressed delight after being joined by Odey, Olatunbosun and Ibrahim as the three home-based players selected.
"I am happy three home-based players have joined me in the Super Eagles," Ezenwa added at the Lagos airport as the players were about to jet out to France on Monday night. "And I think if we go there and prove ourselves, attention will still be on the home-based players, that is the most important thing, so I thank God for that."
Ezenwa who was a member of the U-23 Eagles squad that won silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, says he is in no rush to become Super Eagles number one.
He told Completesportsnigeria.com: "I believe everything is a gradual process. I have been with the team and I have always been doing my best. Whenever my time comes, I just have to give my 100 per cent."
On his impressive performance against Shooting Stars in the NPFL on Sunday as IfeanyiUbah won 3-0 after he saved a penalty, Ezenwa said: "First of all I need to thank God and also thank my defenders because it was a team effort.
"God helped us because we were focused and the fact that we played them in our last game of the first round, we knew how to approach the game."