Former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West has hailed the combination of home and foreign based players invited by coach Stephen Keshi ahead of 2014 World Cup qualifier against Harambee Stars of Kenya on March 23rd in Calabar.
The former Inter Milan FC defence ace said in a telephone chat with Sports Vanguard Midweek Sports Xtra that Eagles, as African champions need to prove their mettle against Kenya.
West said the Harambee Stars are not going to be an easy pie for the Eagles, given the fact that we were in the same group in the last World Cup qualification series. We are not going to be strangers to them, adding they (Kenyans) are coming here to give us a ‘fight’.
“The truth is that the combination of home and foreign based professionals invited by coach Stephen Keshi is very nice. It is good because it has engendered tougher competition for shirts among the players.
Right now when a player wins a shirt, he knows that he won it on merit. That will make the team very solid and formidable to represent the country and continent as champions of Africa. I am very happy with that kind of competitive camping”, he said.
The Atlanta ’96 Olympic soccer winning defender said, just like the Eagles, the Kenyans also have the ambition to feature at the World Cup in Brazil 2014.
“Kenya for the past three to four years have been rebuilding and I think they almost qualified for the last African Cup of Nations.
So they want to be at the World Cup and they are not going to be an easy ride for Eagles the way they were last time. They are coming here to make sure they cause trouble for us and that is why Eagles need to fly over them here.
“We have to beat them convincingly in this World Cup qualifier even with all their arsenals. After becoming the African Champions, Eagles are now the team to beat and as African Champions we need to have a solid team worthy of standing tall in the 2014 World Cup qualifier and I hope Keshi is aware of that. Our players need to show more commitment and Keshi is ensuring that they do just that and by God’s grace come that day March 23rd, Nigeria will beat Kenya.
Keshi knows what to do, a man that has won African Cup of Nations what else will anyone tell him rather than maintaining a winning team that will be consistent and always do their best for Nigeria and Africa”.