Awoniyi Dreams AFCON Glory
Super Eagles striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, has set his sights on helping Nigeria win a fourth Africa Cup of Nations title next year.
The Eagles, who lifted the title in 1980, 1994, and 2013, secured their place in next year’s tournament with a game to spare, after defeating Sierra Leone 3-2 last month in Monrovia, Liberia.
Awoniyi, who was part of the Eagles squad at last year’s AFCON in Cameroon, where they were knocked out in the knockout stage by Tunisia, believes the bond and happiness among his teammates will be key to landing a fourth AFCON title.
Speaking in an interview monitored by our correspondent, Awoniyi said, “I think everyone in the squad is happy; the first stage is to qualify for the AFCON, which we did already, then the next stage now is just to try everything possible to win the AFCON, which is the target for the country.
“The last one was an experience, I was there and we are happy we are there again and of course, we want to go there and we want to win the trophy for sure.”
Awoniyi was pivotal for Nottingham Forest last season, helping them avoid relegation from the English Premier League.
His 10 goals contributed significantly to the team’s survival in the top flight, having returned to the Premier League in 2022 after several years in the Championship.
The 25-year-old also admitted that his debut season was a tough year but praised manager Steve Cooper for fostering a strong team spirit in difficult circumstances.
“It was a tough season. It’s a season I will always remember in my life,” Awoniyi added.
“As a center forward, the truth about the striker is goals. Every striker wants to score but I am not this striker that would say, ‘Every game I will score.’ But one thing I believe is that in every game, I will put in my best.
“For Nottingham Forest, I have to go back and resume the pre-season and see what will happen. It all depends on the coach. The coach has the final say. He is the one who will decide who is on the pitch and who is not on the pitch.”