West Bromwich Albion centre-back Semi Ajayi has stated his side have a strong belief they will avoid Premier League relegation at the end of the season.
The Super Eagles star has been in fine form for the Baggies this season with his solid defensive performances and has also scored three goals in 25 appearances for the club.
Despite his efforts, however, West Brom remain 19th on the Premier League table with 18 points from 29 games.
Ajayi is optimistic about the chances of the Baggies maintaining their English top-flight status at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
“It’s not easy. We are desperate right now and we need points as soon as possible,” Ajayi told BBC Sport Africa.
“I’d say everyone’s written us off but we definitely haven’t really written ourselves off. We are still fighting, we still haven’t given up.
“We still have belief, we still have hope and it’s just about taking one game at a time. Giving our maximum and we’ll see where that takes us. Hopefully, that will keep us in the Premier League but we definitely haven’t given up.”
Nigeria will take on the Republic of Benin in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game at Stade Charles de Gaulle, Porto Novo on Saturday.
The Super Eagles will then square off against Lesotho in their final Afcon qualifying match at Teslim Balogun Stadium on Tuesday.
Ajayi, who is part of Gernot Rohr’s 24-man team for the encounter has revealed his side are well-prepared for the game.
“We are very prepared, since November we’ve had these fixtures in mind to get the job done essentially. I think everybody is itching to get out there and qualify this nation for the Afcon,” Ajayi added.
Victory over Benin will seal Nigeria’s place at the biennial tournament in Cameroon and they will then take on Lesotho in their final qualifying game in Lagos on Tuesday.
The Super Eagles finished third at the last edition of the continental tournament in Egypt, behind winners Algeria and Senegal.