2019 AFCON: Ighalo hits back at critics

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Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo has hit back at criticism from Nigerians fans, claiming he doesn’t pay attention to comments aimed at his ways.

The Chinese based forward faced scrutiny from fans for missing a golden opportunity against Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, but Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr kept faith with him.

Ighalo is joint top scorer at the ongoing AFCON with three goals, he has scored 13 goals from 30 appearances for Super Eagles.

“I don’t pay attention to critics I just do my job and as long as my coach is satisfied with me, I’m fulfilled. Criticism is part of football and I have to live with it, the most important thing for me is to respond to any sort of criticism on the pitch. I appreciate my teammates for the support and team work,” said Ighalo.

Nigeria and South Africa will battle for semifinal ticket in today’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) quarter-final fixture at the Cairo International Stadium, with kickoff scheduled for 8pm Nigeria time.

Ighalo revealed he’s interested in the Golden Boot award but the team success comes first in their quest to win a fourth AFCON title.

“I’m interested in the golden boot but the team comes first. We know the South Africans have been saying stuff on the internet but we have told ourselves that we must not lose. We need Nigerians to believe in us because their support is very important to what we want to achieve here, we’ll make them Nigerians proud.

“We have confidence from the last game, we are ready and it’s nice to know the Egyptian fans will be supporting us but we are the main actors. It will be difficult and tough, but we are ready.

“We took the Madagascar game lightly because we had qualified already. Now we know any mistakes will be punishable and you will see a better side because losing isn’t accepted.

“I pass on advice as one of the oldest in the squad, we have to keep fighting and against South Africa we have to adapt to their pace, we will be ready. The loss to them in the qualifiers was tough but this is a tournament quarterfinal and it will be a different situation,” he concluded.

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