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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Nigerians have yet to see my best, says Nwabili

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Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabili is hungry to prove himself.

Despite securing the starting spot for the Super Eagles in the ongoing AFCON tournament, the former Enyimba goalkeeper feels he has not shown his true abilities.

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“I don’t feel like Nigeria has seen my performance yet,” Nwabili told reporters at Alassane Ouattara Stadium, where PREMIUM TIMES and other journalists are providing live coverage.

“We have a lot of players in Africa who can play,” he added, expressing confidence in the quality of players plying their trade in Africa.

However, the immediate focus is on the crucial match against Guinea-Bissau, said Nwabili, who plays for South African club Chippa United.

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“It’s a match Nigeria must win,” he said, acknowledging the pressure on the Super Eagles’ shoulders.

He understands the importance of each step on the path to glory and refuses to get ahead of himself when asked about how to lift the trophy: “Winning the cup is step by step, so I don’t know.”

Nwabili attributes the team’s recent success to the coach’s unwavering faith.

“When the coach believes in you, it builds confidence in the team and makes them intentional,” he observed.

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I support Uzoho

Another highly debated topic is the competition for the goalkeeper position. Francis Uzoho is also competing for playing time.

Nwabili approached this with grace and professionalism.

“I was picked to play so I don’t know if anyone else had trust issues. I don’t know why they always talk about him most of the time but he’s good. “This is the first time we (Uzoho and I) have worked together and the guy (Uzoho) is good.”

Additionally, he defended Uzoho from pre-tournament criticism: “The bad press he received before the tournament was unfair. “He deserves better.”

READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: AFCON 2023 Extra: What Nigeria can learn from Ivory Coast’s leadership

With coach José Peseiro already suggesting he will give his best for Monday’s final group match, Nwabili can retain his position in goal for the Super Eagles against Guniea-Bissau.

It will be another avenue for the former Chippa United goalkeeper to boost his confidence as all eyes are on him to see if he can silence the skeptics and solidify his position as Nigeria’s number one goalkeeper.

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