The Super Eagles trainer has ruled out Inter’s Joel Obi while praising the Newcastle striker and his fellow debutants for their ability to make an impact on the squad
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi has praised the form of the trio of Shola Ameobi, Ogenyi Onazi and Bright Dike in the last match they starred for the country against Venezuela in a friendly match played in Miami, United States of America on November 14.
In a tone of final confirmation for the trio for next year's Africa Cup of Nations, Keshi showered encomiums on the players ahead of his proposed announcement of the final 23 players for the continent’s biggest football competition holding in South Africa from January 19, 2013.
“Shola Ameobi and Bright Dike have been very impressive. Ameobi came into the fold as if he has been in the national team for the past ten years,” Keshi told Goal.com.
“[Ameobi] has got a lot of experience. His communication level has been outstanding. In the Venezuela match he was motivating the other players even when he was on the bench. Ameobi is awesome,” he said of the Newcastle man.
“Dike came in few hours before the Venezuela game and also played like he has been here (with the Eagles) for a long time. I believe his contribution would be good to the team if he eventually makes the team.
“Ogenyi Onazi’s commitment to the team is great and awesome. If he continues that way he would be a great asset to Nigeria. Barring any injuries he will do just great for the Eagles,” Keshi revealed.
The Eagles handler however confirmed the non-inclusion of Inter Milan talented midfielder Joel Obi.
“I spoke with Joel Obi three days ago, the guy is still injured. He went to his club doctor to get his opinion on the injury but the report wasn’t good so he has to stay back. His absence in the team is not good because he is a key player for us. I will miss him a lot. I thought I had him for the Africa Cup of Nations next year but unfortunately the injury blow has halted that,” Keshi said.