Super Eagles defender Semi Ajayi has revealed that the setbacks of missing out on previous international tournaments with Nigeria have made him a better player as he knows hopes to cement a regular spot with the team, AOIFootball.com reports.
The 26-year-old, who has a had a quite decent spell since making his debut against Seychelles last year, told AOIFootball.com that although the pain of missing out on the AFCON still hurts him, he believes things have changed afterwards.
“Its always painful to miss out on a competition you have always dreamed of and wanted to play in. First, it was the U-20 world cup in 2013 and then this year’s AFCON in Egypt.
“Obviously they had their effects but generally I was proud to have been a member of the team despite not going to the tournament proper,” Ajayi said.
Having completed a sensational move from league one side Rotherham to championship side West Brom last summer, the 6ft 4 inch center-back has been a revelation at the club, featuring in all 16 appearances to help them stay first with 33 points.
He will now hope to retain his place in the heart of the Eagles defense later on Sunday when they face Lesotho, having started all of Nigeria’s three matches since the July AFCON miss.