The Nigerian defender will be playing another key role in the Little Zebras squad ahead of the 2020-21 campaign
William Troost-Ekong wants to see Udinese have a good start to the new Serie A season which kicks off on September 19.
The Little Zebras finished in 13th place last season, 10 points clear of the relegation zone, winning three of their last four matches which included a 2-1 win at home to champions Juventus.
Pre-season had been going well for them with victories against L.R Vicenza and Legnago Salus until it was halted with a 1-0 loss by Venezia. Troost-Ekong is unfazed by the defeat but is rather focused on getting more minutes and being fit and ready to go when Luca Gotti’s side tackle Hellas Verona in the season opener at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on September 27.
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“In my opinion, this is the classic pre-season match,” Troost-Ekong said about the Venezia debate on the Udinese website. “We played the two halves with two completely different teams and right now what is important is to accumulate minutes in the legs.
“We are never happy when we lose but at this moment it is nothing to worry about, we still have to work and improve further because the championship is near and already in the next game we hope to be at our best to be able to start the championship well.”
Udinese will have a week extra to prepare for the new season and Troost-Ekong is happy about it as it will enable him and his teammates to ‘recharge’.
“We worked very hard last week but now is the right time to do this type of training, so that we can get to the season in the best possible shape,” the Nigeria international continued. “Do I start [the Serie A] a week later? In my opinion, it’s better, also because last season’s finale was very tough and we need to recharge for this new championship.”
Troost-Ekong featured prominently for Udinese last season, playing 30 times in the Serie A, 29 of them starts while being an unused substituted on six occasions while missing two games to fatigue and suspension due to accumulation of yellow cards.
He has been with the Friuli Venezia Giulia-based outfit since 2018 when he joined from Turkish side Bursaspor and has made 66 appearances in all competitions.