Ambrose: Our hard work paid off
By: Laura Brannan on 08 Oct, 2012 11:54
IT hasn’t been an easy week for Efe Ambrose but he feels he has reaped the benefits of the demanding schedule and is delighted with how his Celtic career has started.
The defender is still settling into life in Glasgow, but has already had to contend with a busy fixture calendar, including a trip to Russia for the UEFA Champions League.
But with five victories out of five, he is flying high at the moment, and was even more relieved to see Andy Driver´s last-minute attempt go wide on Sunday, meaning Hearts couldn’t find a late equaliser.
"I was concerned that Hearts might score when I gave the ball away at the end, definitely," he said. "But that’s football. It was a big chance for Hearts so I was happy they didn’t score.
"After our victory in Moscow we knew it was going to be difficult. The Champions League is so tough, a journey that far, it takes time to recover from. So we needed to work hard. But we believed in our mental ability and our strength as a team, which meant we could withstand anything Hearts threw at us.
"I can only speak for myself but I felt okay. At the same time, it’s not been easy because we’ve played a lot of games. Sometimes this happens when you play a lot because the Champions League is very hard.
"Even when you are working hard, there is a difference on the pitch. So sometimes we tried to push but the body wouldn’t do what the mind wanted to."
Ambrose will now meet up with the Nigeria squad, as his side prepare for Saturday´s African Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia, and he´s pleased he left on a high.
"I have international commitments this week against Liberia. That is more travelling – a six-hour flight – but this is football. I keep on playing.
"But for me it is the greatest week for us because, going back to the Champions League, we got a great win in Moscow and came home and got a victory against Hearts. It’s been a terrific week for the players, the club and the fans."