Wednesday Dec 19, 2018. 15:16
Nigeria international Ogenyi Onazi has underlined his commitment to the Super Eagles as he sets his sights on a return to the national team.
The 25-year-old missed the West African's last three competitive matches due to injury, having last played for his country in a 3-0 win over the Seychelles after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Onazi's performance in that game attracted a lot of criticism, but the Trabzonspor midfielder is committed to making a return to Gernot Rohr's squad as they up their preparations for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
"It was a tough time I must admit, but despite all the criticisms I remain committed to playing for my country," Onazi told BBC Sport.
"Whenever I go out there to play I give 120%, but unfortunately my achilles tendon problems slowed me down.
"Now things are looking up again for me at club level, I hope to keep giving my best to my country as well."
Onazi, who was part of the Super Eagles squad that won the AFCON title the last time the country qualified, has been in superb form for Trabzonspor, playing a key role in the club's rise up to fourth spot on the Turkish Super League standings.
"After what happened in Russia it was important for all the players to ensure a return to the African Cup of Nations," Onazi continued.
"It's an exciting feeling to achieve that and we can only hope that collectively we can all bring our good club form to the national team.
"The last time I played in the tournament we won it and we as players have to go back again with the mentality to win it, and if we can't we shouldn't be there," he conceded.