Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo is confident that the team will build on the lessons learnt from the ongoing FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia when hostilities begin in the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers in September.
The three-time African champions were within four minutes of booking their place in the knockout stage until Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo scored to take Argentina through at the expense of Nigeria and Chelsea defender Omeruo is certain that the team can use lessons from the tournament to good effect when the qualifiers start later in the year.
Omeruo and his teammates would be hoping to bounce back from their opening defeat to South Africa (2-0 home loss) in Group E of the qualifiers when they travel to face Seychelles in September.
Kenneth Omeruo was speaking in a chat with Complete Sports as he said: “We have to build on the lessons learnt in Russia and the immediate effect of that will be rallying back from that loss to South Africa in Uyo in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.”
“We will play Seychelles away in September, and with our quality, we should be confident of winning.” He added.
The Super Eagles won the 2013 edition of AFCON under the late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi before missing out on the last two editions (2015 and 2017).
Nigerian fans would be banking on the team to prevent a hattrick of AFCON misses by booking a spot at the 24-team 2019 tournament in Cameroon.
After the Seychelles clash, Gernot Rohr and his players will play Libya in a double header within five days in October (at home on October 10 before the reverse fixture in Tripoli on October 15).
Nigeria will travel to face South Africa in the reverse fixture on November 16 before rounding of their qualifiers in Group E with a home fixture against Seychelles on the March 22, 2019.
The team is presently third on the group standings behind Libya and Matchday 1 conquerors South Africa with two teams expected to qualify from each group ahead of the tournament in Cameroon
Kenneth Omeruo was also asked about his club future with the 24-year-old revealing that he will return to Chelsea for pre-season.
In his words, Omeruo said: “Except something happens so soon, I will be joining Chelsea for pre-season. The future will take care of itself.”
Omeruo spent last season on loan at Turkish top flight league side Kasimpasa from Chelsea for his fifth loan spell away from the Blues.
He previously had loan spells at ADO Den Haag, Middlesbrough, Kasimpasa and Alanyaspor before returning to Kasimpasa for a second loan spell.