Victor Moses on Nigeria: ‘I believe we can reach the semi-finals’

The on-loan Chelsea striker says 'togetherness of the team under the coach is key' as Nigeria's Super Eagles prepare for a World Cup tuneup against Scotland on Wednesday.

Victor Moses celebrates after a goal against Ethiopia during World Cup qualifying on November 16, 2013. Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters
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Victor Moses is targeting a World Cup semi-final spot ahead of Nigeria’s international friendly with Scotland in London on Wednesday.

Moses and his teammates will step up their preparations for Brazil against Gordon Strachan’s improving side at Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham, recently relegated from the Premier League.

And the winger, on the books at nearby Chelsea, is confident Nigeria can make a major impression on next month’s global showpiece.

“I believe we can reach the semi-finals. But togetherness of the team under the coach is key.

“There is always a good vibe among the lads when we come together and we’ll need that at the World Cup.”

Moses has endured a disappointing season on loan at Liverpool where he found himself overlooked for long periods as the Merseysiders finished runners-up in the Premier League behind champions Manchester City, but he believes his frustrations can help fire his World Cup campaign.

“I think playing at the World Cup will be good for a lot of the players, and not just me,” he said.

After the Scotland clash, Nigeria will fly out to the United States where coach Stephen Keshi will decide on his final 23-man squad before international football governing body Fifa’s June 2nd deadline.

Scotland failed to qualify for the finals – they haven’t reached the latter stages of a major tournament since appearing at the 1998 World Cup in France – but their improved performances under Strachan have boosted confidence ahead of next season’s Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Hull striker George Boyd returns to the Scotland squad after a 12-month absence following his decision to pull out of last year’s trip to Croatia because it clashed with his wedding.

“I’ve been on the fringes of things,” said Boyd. “I had a game in Serbia but then got married and had to miss the next squad, which probably killed me a bit.

“My wedding clashed with the June date when Scotland won in Croatia. That was really unfortunate and obviously wasn’t great from a football perspective.

“It was a great performance by the boys in that game and it’s hard to change when the team is winning. So really I’m just happy to be back in.”

He added: “I think we have that winning mentality with Scotland now.

“The past months have been really good in terms of results and performances so hopefully we can take that all the way into the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.”

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