Amkar Perm of Russia defender, Bryan Idowu, tells Completesportsnigeria.com’s NNAMDI EZEKUTE in Kaliningrad Russia, how important it is for him to represent Nigeria with the Super Eagles at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He feels upbeat that Gernot Rohr’s men will respond strongly against Iceland after losing 2-0 to Croatia in their first Group D match in Kaliningrad on last Saturday…
The Super Eagles match against Croatia marked your very debut at the FIFA World Cup. How do you feel now as a World Cup player?
It is a wonderful thing to play at the World Cup, but losing the first match to Croatia wasn’t what I anticipated. We wanted a strong start, but it didn’t happen that way. Now we have to play hard in the next match against Iceland.
It will be wonderful to play in this World Cup and make Nigerians proud with great results. I feel honoured to be a part of this team, representing a big nation like Nigeria. So I feel the need to work harder and to making the Nigerian people happy.
The Russia 2018 stage is a very familiar one to you, being a citizen here by birth. How is the feeling like knowing that Amkar Perm fans and and your Russian friends are watching you now at the biggest stage of football?
It’s a wonder feeling I just can’t describe. Yes, I was born and brought up here, but I have the highest honour of playing for Nigeria at the World Cup.
My family and my friends are happy to see me representing Nigeria at the World Cup. I felt the love of Nigerians when we played DR Congo in an international friendly in Uyo. Everything I have experienced with the Super Eagles add up as great feelings and it’s a big motivation to work very hard here representing the people of Nigeria. My friends and family have been writing me since we arrived in Russia. Everyone is wishing me good luck, so I have to keep my head up, keep working hard and keep improving
How do you appraise your performance and the team’s play against Croatia?
It was quite unfortunate that we conceded two goals through set-pieces against Croatia. It was most disappointing considering the fact that we worked on it in training sessions – that’s the most disappointing part. However, we will keep working hard at it, hopefully we will not concede any set -piece goal in the next game, nor any kind of goal.
I did my best against Croatia, everybody did their best. That wasn’t enough to win the match. We can be better as a team, and that is what we shall work on.
So what is precisely your expectation in the next game against Iceland who held Argentina in their first match of Group D?
It’s going to be a very difficult match against a team that held its own against Argentina. Iceland is a very physical team and a team of fighters. Yes, it’s going to be a very difficult match for both teams. It’s a game that could decide the fate of either team in this group. It’s a difficult group. Both teams want to get something big from the match, but it will be decided on the pitch. I feel strongly that it’s going to be a nice game for us.
Your message to your fans and Nigerians out there ahead of your second Group D match against Iceland
They have been wonderful. They should keep supporting and believing in us. We shall try to deliver and make them proud.