Hearts ace Juwon Oshaniwa given Nigeria reassurance

Juwon Oshaniwa has been capped 17 times by Nigeria
Juwon Oshaniwa has been capped 17 times by Nigeria
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NIGERIAN officials have contacted Hearts defender Juwon Oshaniwa to reassure him that his international career is not in jeopardy.

Management at the Nigerian Football Association in Abuja told the left-back he is still on their radar despite not being capped in a year.

Oshaniwa, who joined Hearts in August from FC Ashdod of Israel, last played for his country 11 months ago. He was part of the team which drew 2-2 with South Africa last November and narrowly failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Nigeria have changed coach three times since then and are now under the stewardship of their former midfield mainstay Sunday Oliseh. He overlooked Oshaniwa when naming his squad for friendlies against Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday and Cameroon on Sunday.

The 25-year-old is unconcerned by his ongoing omission and, after discussions with the Nigerian FA, is confident he will add to his 17 caps in time.

“People from the national team, from the management board, have been in contact with me,” he told the Evening News. “They have been talking to me so I’m not disturbed. They said: ‘Just keep doing your stuff, it’s not as if you’ve been forgotten. You will always be reckoned with when the time comes.’ That keeps me strong.

“I will keep doing what I know how to do. You can see every time I’m on the pitch, I’m on there giving 100 per cent. I will keep doing this and see what the future holds for me. At any time, any moment, I’m always ready.”