Troost-Ekong: Nigeria respect Algeria but must play to win all games
- Troost-Ekong wants Nigeria to win all games
- Underlines the importance of friendlies ahead of Afcon qualifiers
- Heaps praise on the Desert Warriors
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Nigeria are in camp ahead of Tuesday's match against the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations champions. The friendly match was scheduled in order for the Super Eagles to test themselves against Djamel Belmadi’s side before shifting focus to the next assignments.
After failing to impress in the Afcon finals held in Cameroon earlier in the year – where they were eliminated in the Round of 16 - Nigeria failed to grab a ticket to the 2022 World Cup finals set to be held in Qatar thereafter.
Both failures have put the West Africans under immense pressure, even though they started the 2023 Afcon qualification process with wins over Sierra Leone and Sao Tome.
However, as they prepare to face Algeria – who eliminated them in the 2019 Afcon semis, they should feel boosted after wins against Mexico and Ecuador in their last friendly games.
WHAT HE SAID: "We want to try and win all the games and improve in all areas," Ekong as quoted by Pulse.
"We are playing against Algeria, one of the top teams in Africa. We have to show them respect, but at the same time, even though it's a friendly game, we will try and win the game and prepare ourselves for the qualifiers that will be coming up next."
AND WHAT IS MORE: Nigeria will face Algeria without key players like Victor Osimhen, Umar Sadiq, Leon Balogun, Ahmed Musa, Emmanuel Dennis, Henry Onyekuru, and Samuel Chukwueze.
WHAT NEXT FOR TROOST-EKONG AND NIGERIA? After facing Algeria, the Super Eagles will be back in action on November 17 for another friendly against Portugal.
After the two friendlies, the three-time African champions will embark on the 2023 Afcon qualifiers. They have scored a whopping 12 goals from their last two qualifiers, enough of a confidence boost going forward as they hope to book a ticket and participate in the next finals set to be held in Ivory Coast.