Victor Hoping For Nigeria Glory
Anichebe not ready for Nigeria return but wants them to do well.
Victor Anichebe will be closely following Nigeria's fortunes at the Africa Cup of Nations - but admits he's not yet ready to return to the Super Eagles fold.
Nigeria get their campaign underway on Monday night when they face Burkina Faso while the Everton striker prepares to take on Southampton in the Premier League.
Anichebe hasn't appeared for his country since September 2011 when he suffered a serious groin injury playing in Madagascar.
But that doesn't mean his desire for them to do well has waned at all.
He told evertontv: "I have got good friends there, like Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel, and a lot of others as well. I want them to do well and it will be great for Nigeria if they can because last time they weren't in the competition.
"It's great for the tournament that Nigeria are in it and it's good for the team. We are in a bit of a transition period and trying to bed in some new players which is great. They have called up some home-based players which gives Nigerians hope.
"Hopefully they can go there and make Nigerians proud."
Nigeria led the emergence of African football with a memorable showing at the 1994 World Cup but now find themselves falling behind the likes of Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Despite that, Anichebe explained that the expectations in his homeland will never be reduced.
"The pressure is never off us," he continued. "There is always pressure to do well. Even when we go to other countries it is a big thing that Nigeria is coming, no matter where we go in Africa.
"We haven't done as well as past generations have but we are in a transition period. Ivory Coast, Ghana, there are a lot of good teams, even some of the teams you wouldn't expect can do well," he added, perhaps considering the tournaments shock winners last time, Zambia.
Also up for consideration by Anichebe is his own international future.
He has started five of Everton's six games since recovering from a hamstring injury before Christmas and is clear that establishing consistency of performance and fitness with the Blues is priority number one.
"I would love to play for Nigeria again in the future," revealed the 11 cap forward. "It has been on and off for me here (Everton) through injuries, so for me it is a good time to stay here and try to keep playing and try to keep fit and maybe in the future play again for Nigeria.
"But I am always a supporter, I always want them to do well."