Wolves’ coach: Ikeme will be fit for clash with Algeria

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club Coach, Rob Thomas, has assured that Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, will be ready for Nigeria’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria on November 12. Ikeme was substituted midway into Wolves’ Championship tie with Blackburn Rovers prompting fears that he may be out for a long time. But Thomas has assured that the 29-year-old goalkeeper, who has established himself as Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper following Vincent Enyeama’s decision to retire from the team, would be ready for the game against Algeria.

While confirming that Ikeme won’t be between the sticks for Wolves in the Derby game against Derby County, Thomas, however, revealed that his injury will only require few days before he is passed fit.

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We’re going to try and reduce the inflammation. He’s touch and go and we’ll know more in a few days,” he said.Ikeme was withdrawn at half time with a sore hip and has strained his oblique muscle.
The Nigeria international was replaced by Andy Lonergan during the 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers.Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has dismissed reports of Tyronne Ebuehi’s withdrawal from the Nigeria squad for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Algeria.

The 20-year-old Ebuehi, who is also eligible to play for the Netherlands, was called up for the first time by Nigeria, but in a rather bizarre twist, the ADO Den Haag full back rejected the call in an interview on the website of his club.

“I see it as a great honour that I am noted in my homeland,” says Ebuehi. “But at this moment, ADO Den Haag requires my full attention. Especially now that I am settled in the team. Therefore, it doesn’t seem to me like the right time to travel to Nigeria for the match.

I want to focus completely on the club, but I certainly do not rule out playing for Nigeria in the future, if the next time am called up,” he told the club official website.

But NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, who revealed he has spoken with the father over his son’s withdrawal, dismissed Ebuehi’s purported withdrawal from the squad.

“It is not true. His agent (Wessel Weezenberg) is behind that statement, it was done without the consent of the player. As a matter of fact, his father confidently told me that he will play for Nigeria,” Pinnick said.

“For now, we don’t know why the agent is trying to block him from Nigeria. He earlier denied contact with Nigeria over his services. But we are speaking with his family. We have their word. He will play for Nigeria,” Pinnick insisted.

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