Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose is unperturbed by the entanglement around his much-talked about loan move from Celtic to Blackburn Rovers, and insisted that a fresh start would be great for his career.
The career of the Super Eagles marker has been on a standstill for some time, since his sidelined by Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers following series of errors marked by incessant boos by fans.
While in England for talks with Blackburn, Ambrose, in a recorded conversation said he was keen to get back to action and for an English team, like Blackburn-though he’s caught in the middle of a mess created by the English FA for a work permit.
While Celtic are still looking for confirmation for Ambrose to join the English Championship side, the Owen Coyle’s side are still awaiting a decision over a work permit for the Nigeria international to travel south to the Lancashire-based side. A deal was agreed to take the 28-year-old to Blackburn on deadline day but the move is still very much in the cooler at least for now.
Ambrose was in England to finalise deal, talk and watched the game against Leeds on February 1 from the stands, but a potential move remains very much hanging in the balance, with Rovers also now casting their eye over the free-agent market in a bid to strengthen their squad ahead of the crucial run-in.
The 51 times capped Nigerian international, is optimistic that the move to East Lancashire would materialise in the nearest future, adding a move to the Premier League would suit him just fine.
“It is another opportunity to start afresh for me, and to also prove a point that I am committed to the game and can still add my own quota to a big team like Blackburn,” explained Ambrose stated. “The situation that they (Rovers) are now is something I can help. They are at the bottom of the table, so I want to do my best to bring them out. Most importantly, it is a good move for me to start again.”
He looked back at his sideline at Celtic with sadness. “Not playing for months in Celtic is difficult.
It is a tricky moment for a player when you feel like you can still help and no one is looking at your side. “Football is like this, today you are up there playing well and tomorrow, you are down; I’m optimist that my difficult time has passed and a fresh start is just what I need to move on.”
Yet, he is filled with nostalgia of the good times he has had at Celtic. “For me I can’t forget Celtic. Even, when I was not playing, I still enjoy the trainings and try to learn something from the new coach Rodgers. It’s been a great time for me at Celtic.”
He went on to eulogise the former Liverpool manager, who has taken Celtic to a comfortable position on top of the Scottish elite league.
“Rodgers has been great. I enjoy his training and coaching style. He has brought something into Celtic training that I enjoy and the other players have reacted to positively. I have gained something under him and it would help me in my career,” said Ambrose.
Going forward, the 28-year-old former FC Ashdod star said he was impressed with what he has seen in Ewood Park. “The manager (Owen Coyle) knows me and believes I can add quality to his defence. I just want to start playing again.”
“The waiting is not going to be any longer again. Coyle wants me and I want them too. Celtic is willing to allow me go and the FA issue would be solved, I’m certain. I’m just bidding my time,” an optimistic Ambrose stated matter-of-factly even as he spoke on other issues which includes;
Connection with Victor Wanyama
I hit it off with Victor (Wanyama) when he got to Celtic. People think we look alike and that helped solidify our friendship. He is a nice guy on and off the pitch. He is a fine player too and I’m not surprised he is doing well in England. I know Wanyama well and he has the qualities to win matches. It will be nice to hook up with him again in England.
My 2018 World Cup
Target I have had contact with Marseille. It’s nothing concrete yet but we will know more in the coming days. For now I’m still at Celtic, where I am hoping to do my best to try and force my way back into the plans of the manager. I have been linked with a host of English Championship teams – and Wolves are one of them – but I am under contract with Celtic for the next six months. I can’t really say much about other teams that have made a move for me. The idea is to get back playing, whether it’s with Celtic or any other club. I just want to play football. I still have dreams of representing Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup and playing regularly will boost my chances.
Tough time at Celtic
The catcall was disturbing at first but after a while, I got use to it and just play my game because I realised that it comes mostly from the opposition fans. I try not to listen to the abuse and boos. The only thing you can do is shut them up and the place to do that is on the pitch. You have to make them realise it does not matter what they say. It just encourages me to be better on the pitch. I try just to concentrate on the game, but if anything, it makes me more determined. It is just a question of focus. The passion I have for the game makes me stronger and it will make me better even if people do this. I can point to the medals I have in the last four years. I have a lot. Fans try to get on someone’s back. They pick on someone. Unfortunately, recently they have tried to pick on me.”
A proud Super Eagles
Those colours mean a lot to me. It is Nigeria’s colours and that of Celtic too. I want to get back into the Super Eagles. I still have strong memories of Eagles success stories and getting back to club action would help me.
I always give my best. Even if it’s for one minute or two minutes I’m on the pitch and no more I always try to help my team out. That’s really the most important thing. It’s not about me. Before I retire all that counts is getting better and playing regularly for my club and country. That is all I care.