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Echiejile dismisses pressure

Elderson Echiejile has played down talks of any pressure on Nigeria ahead of the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification in Africa this Sunday.

The Nigeria defender, currently on loan to Standard Liege from AS Monaco, explained that starting the World Cup qualifiers in Zambia “takes off the pressure” away from the Super Eagles.

The 28-year-old left-back is also confident that the Nigerian team can come off with “a good result” in Ndola though admitted that it will not be an easy game against Zambia’s Chipolopolo.

“To be sincere it is not going to be easy (against Zambia). With hard work, and commitmment, and playing well as a team it is going to be a positive result at the end. First and foremost pressure is not on us though the first game we are going away and after that we come home to play.

Nigerian defender Elderson Echiejile (R) vies for the ball with a Rwandan player during the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualification match between the two countries in Calabar on June 16, 2012.  Nigeria defeated Rwanda 2 - 0 to advance to the third qualifying round where they will meet fellow second round qualifers and the 16 teams that competed for 2012 African Cup of Nations held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. AFP PHOTO

So I think it (the fixture) is a really good start for us. At least starting away is good because it takes off the pressure, so we will just go out there and get a good result. If we start very well with the away game that will be really good for us,” Echiejile said.

The former Braga SC man also highlighted that Nigeria are drawn in “a very challenging group” with Algeria and Cameroon being the other two nations they will have to face in the qualification.

“It’s a very challenging group but I think we are up to the task. Inasmuch as we respect them, we will do our best to get good results in each of our games as they come,” said Echiejile.

Echiejile is one of 23 players that the Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr, has called up for this weekend’s World Cup qualifying match in Zambia.


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