Wake up! ...Keshi charges Mikel to brace up and be in top shape as he’ll no longer tolerate unfit players in his team

Super Eagles’ gaffer, Stephen Keshi, has called on Chelsea’s defensive midfielder, Mikel Obi, to shape up and play himself back into the national team, warning that no unfit player would feature in his plans. The ‘Big Boss’ said he's more interested in the players who are in proper shape to give their best to the country, whether the player plays at home or abroad.

He, however, hailed the Home Eagles, who are in Liberia for today’s friendly clash, but charged them to justify their call- ups to the national team.

“Mikel is a good player, but what he is facing now in terms of injury and sitting on the bench always in his club (Chelsea) gives me a lot of worry.” Keshi said “I’ve tried severally to speak with him on his situation and its effect on him. My advise for him is that he should reconsider his performance if he still wants to play for the Super Eagles. He is a professional. He knows what to do to get back to shape.

“For me, it’s all about choice and desire to grow everyday. It’s up to him to take that decision. For us in the technical crew, we’re not working with big names. Instead, we check how fit you are. The door is open to any player who is on top of his game, we’re not going to compromise on that because of any player. We need the best and nothing short of that.

“Even if we omit any player today, once we discover that the player is in good shape, we will not hesitate to extend our invitation to him,” Keshi said.
“As for the friendly match against Liberia, my expectation is to use the game to let the Home Eagles understand what it means to play away game. I know that some of them have played away games in continental championships.
“I also want to use the match to assess how far the players have mastered the style of play we want to adopt and then evaluate their performance.
“Even though the team has so far been impressive, we cannot say that we’re already there. We’re still working on it and will keep working until we get to where we’re headed. It’s a long-term project.”
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