Onyeka credits AFCON for boosting his fitness; shares what Brentford boss told him pre-Man City

Published: February 21, 2024
Onyeka credits AFCON for boosting his fitness; shares what Brentford boss told him pre-Man City

Speaking after featuring for Brentford in their  1-0 loss to Manchester City yesterday in a rescheduled Premier League fixture, Frank Onyeka revealed that playing at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations helped his performance level.

The 26-year-old started all Super Eagles games in the competition and played in huge role in the West African side advancing to the final of the competition where they lost to the host nation Ivory Coast. 

Despite returning late to Brentford after the tournament, he featured for the club in their loss to Liverpool at the Gtech Community Stadium last weekend, coming on as a second-half substitute for Christian Nørgaard.

He started for the Bees yesterday in their narrow defeat to Manchester City and came close to scoring early on in the encounter but wasted the opportunity.

The Nigeria international came off for Mikkel Damsgaard and remarked after the game that his fitness level has been helped by playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.


"Going back to Africa, helping my team, coming back fit, it's been really good. I feel really fit," he said to Brentford's official website.


"It was hard, but it was also good, especially defending and on counter-attacks. We came here believing we could do it again, so to lose 1-0 is sad, but it was a good performance.

"It's hard because they move the ball really quick, so we needed to adjust as quick as possible. We did that pretty well in the first half and the second half; defensively we did really well."


In terms of his specific role, Onyeka played a crucial part in Brentford's counter-attacks, frequently pushing forward when his team had possession.

Regarding instructions from Thomas Frank, Onyeka revealed that the Bees boss encouraged him to advance with the ball whenever possible, a task he believed he executed well during the match.

"He told me that when I get the ball, drive up with the ball as much as possible which I quite did well. So that was the message from Thomas.

"I tried to do what I can when I get the ball. I tried to drive with the ball."

Statistically, Onyeka led the game with four interceptions and was also the most fouled player, winning three free-kicks for Brentford.


Abdulkareem Abdulhamid



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