The Super Eagles were officially decamped in London on Monday, after the thrilling friendly against the Azzurris of Italy at the Craven Cottage, home ground of Premier League side, Fulham.
The Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, who addressed players and officials after the game thanked them for their commitment to the national team but noted that they could have ended the year on a high with a win against the three times world champions.
“Maybe, we had too much of respect for them but am sure if by chance we meet at the World Cup, we will put up a better performance”, he said.
Keshi wished the players, officials and their families Merry Xmas and Prosperous New Year in advance but warned them that no player in the present team has an automatic passage to the World Cup.
“It’s time to go back and work hard for our various clubsides and stay healthy, because that will form the basis for invitation when we resume next year. The truth is that not everybody here will go to the World Cup, but that is how football goes, so those who want to be part of the team must remain fit and play regularly for their clubsides”, he admonished.
At the end of the short address, England based stars like John Mikel Obi, Shola Ameobi and Victor Moses immediately left for their basis, as most of the other players waited to leave the Hilton Cobham abode of the team on Tuesday.
Keshi and other officials of the team are expected back in Nigeria on Thursday morning, as they will depart London Wednesday night via Heathrow Airport for Lagos.
Keshi is expected to start preparations for the CHAN African Championship early December, with only home based professionals. The event holds in January in South Africa.