Nigeria forward Odion Ighalo believes the additional travelling he has made in representing Nigeria at the international level is telling on him during Watford’s Premier League campaign so far.
The 25-year-old has found the back of the net only three times in 2016, just once in the Premier League. The most famous was his goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup just days before Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Egypt in March.
Ighalo’s spectacular form earned him his first call-up to the Super Eagles squad in June 2015, after his astonishing goal scoring run helped Watford win promotion to the Premier League during the last five months of the club’s Championship season.
And for the first half of the Premier League season, his goal against Everton in the opening day was no fluke as he netted 13 more before the end of 2015 and also featured for Nigeria in October and November.
However, 2016 has not been the best of years for the former Granada striker whose goal drought has extended over four games in a row now since he last scored against Arsene Wenger’s team.
“The international week is tiring,” Ighalo told From The Rookery End Podcast.
“After you play at the weekend you have to fly to and play with the national team. You then play twice in six or seven days after a long flight. I remember that [in March] I flew from here to Nigeria. It was seven hours. Then we flew to Egypt, back again to Nigeria and then back to England,” he continued.
The striker also said that the travelling is really telling on him as well as his teammates.
“It was really difficult and telling on me. We are humans, not robots. So it’s really tiring. But what can you do? It’s your national team. We are all working to represent the national team,” he said further.