Super Eagles centre-back hoping to improve his match fitness in friendly v Algeria
Published: September 19, 2022
Super Eagles centre-back hoping to improve his match fitness in friendly v Algeria

William Troost-Ekong says he is hoping to improve his match fitness when the Super Eagles face off with Algeria in an international friendly a week on Tuesday.


Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro decided to stick with the central defender despite his lack of playing opportunities at Watford since the season started, naming him on his 25-man roster for the friendly against the North Africans.


So far this season, Troost-Ekong has logged only 187 minutes from a possible 990 in all competitions and Saturday's 2-2 draw versus Sunderland was the first time he started a league game since January 1, 2022.


The 29-year-old was linked with possible moves to Major League Soccer and Turkish Super Lig but the summer transfer window closed and he stayed put at Vicarage Road.


Having made his first start in the Championship under manager Rob Edwards,  he is determined to keep his place in the Watford team after the international break.


Speaking after the draw against the Black Cats, Troost-Ekong told Watford's official webpage : "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."


Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Valentine Ozornwafor, Chidozie Awaziem, Kevin Akpoguma and even Calvin Bassey are vying for two starting spots in Nigeria's central defence against Algeria.


Ifeanyi Emmanuel


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