Super Eagles midfielder, Oghenekaro Peter Etebo, says he and his colleagues cannot afford to disappoint Nigerians when the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations begins on June 21 in Egypt.
Etebo made the final squad list for the tournament announced via the Super Eagles twitter handle Sunday and says this year’s tournament is special for the team.
Etebo told the Stoke Sentinel: “This is a special Nations Cup. We have missed two editions and that means the whole of the continent will be looking on to us to redeem our image. So we cannot afford to fail. The last time we were there we left as champions in 2013, so this is the first opportunity to take part in the competition for many of us.”
Etebo also knows it’s not only Nigerians that will be looking up to him and his colleagues to deliver in Egypt.
“I know a number of my teammates and management of my club will be looking up to me to do well on the international stage at the Africa Cup of Nations,” said the 23-year-old.
Etebo hails Stoke City for providing him the enabling environment to thrive in his first season at the club.
“Stoke is a fantastic club and they make you feel at home at every point in time. After our last game, I was put on the spot and celebrated as a send-off to the Africa Nations Cup. They are happy that I’m going to Egypt and playing in the colours of Nigeria.”
The Nigerian has also assured the Potters’ supporters to disregard transfer speculations around him.
Eye-catching performances towards the end of the season led to whispers he could head for a higher level but he said, in an interview for The National: “It is still early now to talk about that. I have a good relationship with Stoke and I am happy there.”
Etebo added: “At the end of the day I was adjudged the Stoke City player of the year (by the south west supporters’ club) and I must thank the club for that support. It is really inspiring and a good mentality to take to the Nations Cup.”