Nigeria played out a 1-1 draw with Brazil on Sunday at the National Stadium in Singapore, a game that is certain to be a confidence booster for him as he helps his Premier League promotion-chasing club, says West Brom defender Semi Ajayi.
The Albion centre back saw every single minute of the game against the Selecao and was impressive as Neymar, Coutinho and Firmino were limited to a few chances and a single breach of the Super Eagles net, to earn the three time African champions their first positive results against the South Americans.
Semi Ajayi, who returned to his England base on Tuesday, has revealed that his confidence has received a healthy shot as a result of his top performance against the Samba Boys.
“I’m feeling really good,” Ajayi told the club website.
“The [Brazil] game went really well. I’ve given myself a lot of confidence coming up against the big stars. Hopefully I can carry that form into our league game on the weekend.
“You want to play against the best players and test yourself. If you can come out of that with a good performance and a good result then that is even better so the trip went really well.
“I don’t really focus on their names, it is more about what they do on the pitch. I felt like myself and my team-mates dealt with their threats really well and it is something we can take a lot of pride from.”
Semi joined West Brom from relegated Rotherham over the summer and has settled down quickly into manager Slaven Bilić’s team, guiding the club to the top of the Championship table.
“It’s a joy to be involved in. Everyone is on the same page, the manager has got us singing off the same hymn sheet. He is very detailed in the way he tells us how he wants us to play and everyone has taken it on board and it has been a joy to be a part of and to watch. Some of the forward play at times has been breathtaking.
“I’ve been over the moon to come straight into the team and settle in. The lads have welcomed me really well and the fact that the team has been winning as well has made it even easier for me to settle. It’s been a really, really positive environment for me to come into and long may it continue.
“I’ve been happy with how I have played. There is still definitely more to come from me. The start has been really good and I just need to kick on now. Slaven talks to me daily, he is always giving me pointers on how I can improve or little bits of information that he thinks could help me that I may not have seen. I am always picking his brains for things I can learn. He has been really, really good with me.”
The London-born defender adds: “I’ve been going into every game thinking we are going to win, no matter who we play against. A big part of that is down to the form we have shown here. We have been nearly faultless. We have got one defeat and even that defeat we played really, really well.
“The fact that the performances have been really good and consistent is giving me the confidence to know that when I step on the pitch it is likely that we are going to continue.
“As they say the league table doesn’t lie. After 11 games, almost a quarter of a way through the season now, the fact that we are where we are can only be on merit and it’s important that we don’t get too carried away now. We just need to take every game one by one and make sure we keep the levels that we have already achieved so far.”