BATTLE OF ADDIS ABABA -Keshi: Eagles Are Motivated to Reach Brazil 2014

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, has said Nigeria can stand the harsh test in Ethiopia as they are well motivated to reach next year’s World Cup final in Brazil.
Nigeria will bid for a fifth appearance at the FIFA World Cup when they travel to Addis Ababa this weekend for the first leg of the play off matches against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia that will decide who qualifies for Brazil 2014.
Keshi said at a media parley Wednesday that the Eagles would be fired up by the challenge of qualifying for football’s most prestigious spectacle- the Summer World Cup finals in Brazil.
Though Nigeria featured at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil in June, Keshi admitted that the players would be motivated to make another return to the South American country next year given that the stakes are higher.
“The players realise that after going to Brazil for the Confederations Cup, we have to go back next year  to Brazil for the World Cup which attracts more prestige”, Keshi said.
The Super Eagles will hold three more training sessions before they fly out on Saturday by charter plane for the match that will be played on Sunday in the rarified airs caused by Ethiopia high altitude.
Keshi, who admitted that he was yet to see the Ethiopians play since Nigeria defeated them 2-0 in the group stage, en-route to winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, said that any result other than a defeat in Addis Ababa will be a good outcome for the Eagles.
He said that the task would not be particularly easy as the East Africans will be different from the team Nigeria walloped at the Africa Cup of Nations this year.
The ex- captain of the national team is bidding to become the first individual to lead the Eagles to two different World Cup tournaments as player and coach said his player would keep calm in the face of expected crowd provocations and challenges of playing on a patchy Addis Ababa pitch.
“We will deal with the pitch conditions in Addis Ababa as we have seen grounds that are worst than that. We must also maintain our calm as we expect a hostile reception from the crowd,” Keshi said.
Meanwhile, Shola Ameobi has rubbished suggestions that he is too old to play at the highest level for Nigeria.
The 31-year-old Newcastle striker is a late bloomer to international football as he made his Eagles debut only last year with four appearances up to date.
Ameobi said that he feels he can help the Nigerian squad to achieve great things, including reaching the FIFA World Cup finals.
“I did not realise that I am that old. Though I am only 31-year- old, I feel I still have the energy to play at the highest level. I want to help Nigeria achieve great things and I plan to play for as long as the coach wants me. It is all about representing my fatherland,”  he said.
In addition, the player who has scarcely featured for Newcastle since the start of the English Premier League season because of injury said the conditions in Ethiopia will not be a concern as both sides will contest in the same situation.
“The weather will not be an issue as we will play in the same conditions and are prepared for that. We can replicate what they have as they are coming here as well in November,” he concluded.