The Super Eagles star played a crucial role for Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest squad by helping them secure a Premier League survival
Nigerian Super Eagles striker Taiwo Awoniyi recently opened up about his eventful season and shared his aspirations for the upcoming Premier League campaign with Nottingham Forest, Soccernet.ng reports.
Despite his slow adjustment to the English Premier League, the former Union Berlin star fired in an excellent performance before and after his three months injury.
In an exclusive interview with Soccernet.ng Awoniyi reflected on the highs and lows of the past season, his determination to give his best, and his expectations for the future.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian star dented Arsenal’s title hopes and handed Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City the English Premier League trophy by firing a 19th-minute strike past Aaron Ramsdale.
Although the Nigerian star, despite his injury setback, scored 10 goals in 27 EPL games in the 2022-23 season campaign, proving how dangerous he is as a striker.
“To be honest, It was a tough season. It’s a season I will always remember in my life. Because the good thing about life is that during those difficult times, the question you should ask yourself is, ‘What did you do?’ for me, during that time when we were still fighting relegation, even if, in the end, we were relegated, which I don’t which we do. You should ask yourself, did I do enough for myself and my team? That is what I used to tell myself, and I think everyone should do that. And luckily for us, it is not only me that made the team survive relegation because if the ball doesn’t come from the goalkeeper, there is no way I can flick it into the net.
“So, I think it is a collective effort from the whole team. And I must commend the coaches on bringing everyone into the spirit of changing the whole situation. And that is the sweet part of the story because one day you can look at your son or your family and say, ‘During those moments, I am proud to be part of the [team].” he said.
Awoniyi emphasized the significance of scoring goals as a centre forward and highlighted his belief in giving his best effort every game.
He acknowledged that the final decision of who plays lies with the coach and expressed his commitment to contribute to the team’s success, regardless of his role.
“As a centre forward, the truth about the striker is goals. Everyone wants to score, and every striker. But I am not this striker that would say, ‘Every game I will score’, But one thing I believe [is that] every game, I will put in my best.
“For Nottingham Forest, I have to go back and resume the preseason and see what will happen. It all depends on the coach. The coach has the final say. He is the one who will decide who is on the pitch and who is not on the pitch.” he added.
Reflecting on personal setbacks, Awoniyi acknowledged that not everything has gone his way in recent years. However, he maintained that he always gives his utmost dedication and effort, even when facing challenges behind the scenes. His focus remains on doing his best and avoiding any regrets.
“But for me, as a player, the best you can do for yourself is to keep putting in every effort because the effort will not be in vain. And in the end, if it doesn’t go your way, you can say, ‘Yes, I did my best’, which is what I have always kept in my heart.
“Sometimes, things have not been going my way for the past few years, but even in those times, everyone in the club knows that he has always been doing his best. Many things happen in football, but it is not open to the outside world because this game has many things behind the scenes. But the truth about football and the truth about what I say to myself is ‘Just give in your best, let everyone decide what will happen, whether you are good, whether you are not, just give in your best, and that is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don’t put yourself in a position you will regret, and that is it for me, just giving everything, and for Nottingham Forest, it is the same thing I would do in the upcoming Premier League season.” he continued.
Watch the video here:
View this post on Instagram
Nottingham Forest fans eagerly anticipate Awoniyi’s contributions to the Premier League, knowing that his unwavering commitment and resilience will be instrumental to the team’s success.
As the Tricky Trees face Mikel Arteta’s troops in their first EPL games, all eyes will be on Awoniyi as he strives to fulfil his potential and help Nottingham Forest achieve victory.