The last group game in Group D involving Nigeria and Guinea Bissau perhaps presents two different scenarios for the two teams as Nigeria, regardless of the result, is already assured of a place in the 2nd round of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon but for their opponents, it is a do or die situation as only the 3 points at stake can guarantee a spot in the next round as one of the best losers in the tournament.
When presented with the same analysis, the coach of the Nigeria team, Austin Eguavoen however disagreed, insisting that every game is as important as it comes.
“The 3rd game in the group? We will not take our foot off the pedal. We will respect our opponents as we always do. We are taking this game as seriously as the first two games”, Eguavoen disclosed.
When asked if it is the same team as previously seen so far in the competition that will also file out against Guinea Bissau, the FA Cup-winning coach with Enyimba FC of Aba responded that he will ring some changes in the team going into the match.
“It is always good to qualify from your group and we have done it in style. Expect a few changes in the team. Everyone here has come to play. Don’t expect massive changes, but I can tell you there will be one or two”, the coach revealed.
The highly experienced coach who won the Africa Cup of Nations as a player and on-field captain in 1994, was also asked if he had identified any lapse or weakness in his team despite recording two wins in the two matches played and in the usual characteristic of the Edo State-born coach, the response was very explicit.
“Yes, generally it is expected that there will be ups and downs. No team is perfect. Our main concern is putting our chances to bed. We create a lot of chances but we need to take them as well. We need to bury them because the goal is always power”, the coach affirmed.
“There is always pressure. Finishing top with 9 points is always good as we did in 2006 but I am not going to take the credit alone. There is a team out there working with me and we all working hard so we can repeat the feat but the most important thing is that we have qualified”, Cerezo, as he was known during his playing days, concluded when reminded that he is the only coach in Nigeria to have achieved maximum points at the group stage in the Africa Cup of Nations in the history of Nigeria’s participation in the tournament. A feat was achieved in Egypt in 2006.
Coach: “Thanks to all of them, I quite appreciate them. No one is best for the job. They are only right for the job at that time. I am satisfied with my position in the Nigeria Football Federation as it is at the moment but if I am asked to, maybe, I will take it. But when we get to that bridge, we will cross it.
Troost-Ekong: “It’s been great playing with Kenneth. I was looking up to him before I joined the Eagles. He has won the Nations Cup and I enjoy playing with him at the World Cup and played more with him in Egypt. There are a lot of young players in the team and it is up to the coach to decide who plays. A coach is a coach. Foreign or local, for me, it doesn’t matter. A coach is a coach.
Awaziem was a bit ill but he is okay now. And he also had a sprain but he is okay now.
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“We had some really good, quality time there,” Jeff Bezos said of travelling outside of Earth with his brother Mark. Expect changes in Eagles line-up for Guinea Bissau Expect changes in Eagles line-up for Guinea Bissau Expect changes in Eagles line-up for Guinea Bissau Expect changes in Eagles line-up for Guinea Bissau