Semi Ajayi has admitted he is yet to get over the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The Eagles were ousted by rivals Black Stars of Ghana in the playoffs on away goals rule.
Ajayi did not feature in both legs of the qualifiers as he was an unused substitute for the Eagles.
Commenting on the failure of not qualifying for the World Cup, Ajayi in an interview with Brila FM said:”It was very painful and I’m still dealing with it now the disappointment of not going to the World Cup.
“But we have to put that behind us. I’m trying to use that to fuel my motivation to make sure that something like that never happens again.”
Up next for Ajayi and his Eagles teammates is the 2023 AFCON qualifiers against Sierra Leone on Thursday in Abuja.
And Ajayi says he expects a difficult encounter from the Leone Stars but the Eagles will go into the fixture with the aim of securing the three points.
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“We approach every game wanting to win, that’s the objective whether it’s Sierra Leone or any other team,” he said.
“We will go into the game looking for three points, we know it’s not going to be easy but we will take the game very seriously, we will listen to what the coach has to tell us in terms of the game plan and make sure we get the three points.”
“I’m really happy to be back especially back in Nigeria. We are looking to post some positive results for the game on Thursday and again the game on Monday so we are looking forward to the games,” Ajayi added.
On the new Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro, the West Brom star confessed that it has been a good experience.
“It’s has been really good he has come in and is trying to implement his ideas on the team. I think every session every game we are playing we are learning more and more what he is demanding from us and what he want from us and so far so good.”
On what lessons he learnt in the two friendly games against Mexico and Ecuador in the United States:”The biggest lesson for me in the friendly games in the US is that it just shows what we are capable of.
“There’s been a lot of positives to take from the games we know we didn’t get the result that we wanted but there’s a lot of positives to take from the games. I think the biggest lesson is that we can believe in ourselves.
“We played against two very good teams and arguably should have won maybe both of the games. That gives us a lot of confidence to take into these qualifiers now.”
And on his plans with West Bromwich Albion Ahead of next season, Ajayi stated:”My plan for next season is to make sure we achieve our objective which is gaining promotion back to the Premier League. It’s definitely what I’m looking for so next season I will make sure I give everything to make sure we achieve that objective.”
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