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Troost-Ekong: Playing for Nigeria can help improve my Watford form

2:10 AM GMT 20/09/2022
William Troost-Ekong
William Troost-Ekong revealed playing for Nigeria against Algeria could help him keep his place at Watford under Rob Edwards.

WHAT HAPPENED? After making just one substitute appearance in the 2022-23 campaign, the Super Eagles centre-back made his first start as the Hornets played out a 2-2 draw with Sunderland during Saturday’s Championship outing. Buoyed by that, he hopes playing for Nigeria during the international window would improve his fitness which can guarantee more playing time at Vicarage Road.

WHAT HE SAID: The former Udinese defender told the Watford website: “I’ve worked really hard over the last few weeks in training to get my chance in the team, and today was my opportunity to give everything.

“Rob [Edwards] tries to fill us all with confidence before every game, and we would’ve loved to have repaid him with three points, but we’ll keep working on a way to do that in the next game.

“Hopefully I play some games while I’m away with Nigeria, and improve my form and fitness, and then come back and help the team kick on.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Watford have conceded 11 goals in 10 league matches played so far and Troost-Ekong’s return to the defensive line could bring stability as they hope to secure promotion to the Premier League at the end of the season. As things stand, the Hertfordshire-based side occupy the tenth position having accrued just 14 points.

He is likely to make the starting line-up against the North Africans, while Moses Simon and Chidera Ejuke are tipped to run the flanks. Additionally, Leon Balogun and Henry Onyekuru remain out with injuries.

STORY IN ONE PHOTO

DID YOU KNOW? Troost-Ekong switched international allegiance to the Super Eagles despite representing the Netherlands at U19 and U20 levels.

WHAT NEXT FOR TROOST-EKONG? After his involvement against Algeria on September 27, the 29-year-old returns to England where he would be hoping Watford end their three-match winless streak against Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium on October 2.