Iain Dowie: Ambrose’s athleticism needed to help Celtic against Juventus

The Nigerian defender will be put through a late fitness test to determine whether he will start against Juventus
As the Uefa Champions League returns on Tuesday, the importance of Nigerian defender, Ambrose Efe has been restated by a former English coach, Iain Dowie on a SkySports programme.

Efe, who was named in the Caf XI for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup, which Nigeria’s Super Eagles won for the third time on Sunday against Burkina Faso is back in Glasgow after taking a night flight from Johannesburg on Monday.

He had an overnight flight which should have been restful and having checked into a hotel, I will check him this afternoon (Tuesday) to ascertain his fitness,” Dowie said on SkySports.

“And if he is able to play, I would play him because if you look at the shape of the team if he doesn’t play – it changes the dynamism with which they will defend.”

Meanwhile Efe will miss the Presidential reception for the team told fifa.com on Sunday that he will have to leave for Scotland as his club need him for the crucial encounter.

“I can only decide after I speak to my coach at Celtic because we have the Champions League game with Juventus,” Ambrose told fifa.com.

“So I have to speak to my coach first to be sure if he will allow me to go to Nigeria. But if he does not, I will accept it because it is my club, so they come first.

“When my club needs me, I just have to go there and help and see what we can do in the Champions League,” the 2006 Olympic medallist added.

Efe was very important in Celtic’s 1-0 defeat over Barcelona in December that helped the Scottish side to the second round.

“We all saw how he performed against Barcelona – him and [Victor] Wanyama and their athleticism and dynamism was very important as they covered grounds and made crucial tackles and blocks,” Dowie added.

Celtic will thus be hoping to continue their heroics with Ambrose in their ranks in the 2012/13 edition of the Uefa Champions League by beating Juventus over the two legged affair.