Keshi ‘ll restore Eagles’ confidence- Etuhu
By Our reporter
Monday, February 20, 2012

Eagles’ midfielder, Dickson Paul Etuhu, has backed Nigeria’s Coach, Stephen Keshi, to restore the country’s enviable place in world football soon.

The Fulham star, who is one of only 11 Europe-based stars called up for a 2013 Nations Cup qualifier in Rwanda, has also said he would fight for his first-team place at his London club.
Commenting on how he felt the first time he was handed a call by the Eagles, coach, Etuhu said:

It was a memorable day, it was a dream came true and I felt honoured when it came, it has been my dream to play for Nigeria all along, even when I was at Norwich City, we talked about it and I always tell my teammates then that I am sure I will play for my country one day and the day I was called, I was on top of the world and happy that I was about actualising one of my dreams as a player. “I was not treated well by the coach, you are in charge of a team for a year and you did not get in touch with one of the players you feel is still relevant. I respect everybody and deserve respect too.

I was not interested in playing under him because I was not treated well, the fact remains that I love Nigeria and wanted to represent it when called upon, but I rejected the call to play against Ghana because I was seen as a second fiddle. I was called because some players were not available. I am not going to rubbish myself like that. That was it.

“The first day I met him, I knew why he was the captain of the team for 14 years. He is a man who knows what he is doing and will look you straight in your eyes to tell you what he wants from you and otherwise. If you do it well, he applauds you and if you did not, he shouts at you till you adjust. He is just like the big coaches I have worked with in England. I see him succeeding. It was marvellous. We are together like a family, as a matter of fact, since I have been coming to camp, that is the first time I have seen a very high spirit in camp.

The training is like matches where everybody puts in his best. We always encourage ourselves and that will go a long way in the team. Yes. He can make us great again. His programmes at training have shown that we should all cooperate with him and give him a chance to build a solid team. No big team in the world springs up in a day, it is a continuous process, the likes of Spain, Brazil, Barcelona, Manchester United etc. We need to have continuity in the team as it helps a team to be strong and have a direction.

At a time, I was playing regularly and that is the joy of every player, but when I was not, I became sad. I wanted to keep playing, so I was frustrated when the coach felt otherwise, but I am back in the team now and hope I will keep playing regularly for the team because that will help me.

I am concentrating on my career. I want to retain my spot in the starting team. So, I am not thinking of a transfer now, but in football, you can’t say. Our business is moving. That was playing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It was the highest level any player could play at, so being there was a great thing to me. It was a dream come true. That is my greatest moment as a footballer.

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