Super Eagles’ Goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme is ready once again to join his mates in the battle to qualify for both the Russia 2018 World Cup and the Cameroon 2019 African Nations Cup.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers of England star has been out injured for both club and country since the Super Eagles defeated Zambia 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Ndola and he is eager to return to the fold immediately.
Apart from training to get back to fitness following his recovery from injury, Ikeme has also been engrossed in trying to get some players with Nigerian parentage to play for the country instead of waiting for opportunities with England. In an interview with thenff.com yesterday, Ikeme thanked everybody that supported him during his injury travails, explaining, “It has been slow and tough. It was something I was carrying for a long time. I couldn’t play or train. It took more than a normal hamstring injury. I have been working hard every day with the physios and hopefully, I am closer to getting back to training.”
He disclosed that Wolves would start their pre-season training on Monday, where he hopes to build up and prepare for Super Eagles’ forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon.
He said, “I think I should be back to full fitness because I have not been able to do too much but I’ve been strong. I have been training hard with the team in the last three weeks. I am hoping I should be back to normal training in two weeks.
“It is just disappointing that the injuries are coming at a time when we have the qualifiers. I am excited though, that I am returning to fitness and hopefully, I would have an injury-free season.”
Ikeme believes the recent loss to South Africa was a wake up call, adding that it has shown the team that it must work hard for victory in every game. “There are still plenty of games to play to qualify for the Cup of Nations, so we are still confident that we will qualify. We have a good team and a good coach as well, so I am sure we will be okay.
“We didn’t qualify for the last one, so our focus would be on that. It will require hard work and staying together as a group. We are confident that we will still qualify.”
Ikeme agrees that the matches against Cameroon would be tough encounters, saying that the Indomitable Lions experience at the Confederations Cup would give them added fillip. He added, however, “We are confident going into the games. As I said, it is not going to be easy.”