New Telegraph

Eagles can’t win AFCON with current defenders, says Ekpo

Ex- international, Friday Ekpo, has said Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr, must work on the team’s defence if Nigeria’s hopes to have any meaningful impact at the next year’s African cup of Nations will be realised.


The Eagles’ defence has been unimpressive recently leading to the team conceding avoidable goals and Ekpo believes that unless more committed defenders are introduced to the team, the Eagles might not fly in Cameroon.


‘I’ve watched in astonishment recent matches of the Super Eagles and I am worried like any other Nigerian on the type of goals they concede even against lowly-rated opponents and I discovered that apart from the team not having a creative midfielder, the defence lineup is also weak and this has contributed in the team conceding what I will describe as cheap goals.


“There is a need for the coach to do the needful and look for quality defenders for the team. I’m not saying that the present defenders are not trying but a lot still needs to be done especially when we face stronger opposition,” noted the former Shell of Gabon midfielder.


According to him, when the defence of any team is porous, there is little or nothing the goalkeeper can do because strikers from the opposing teams will be having a field day and this often leads to goals.


“ I think we don’t have much problem with the goalkeeping department because the shot-stoppers are trying and once the defenders are not living up to expectation, there’s little the goalkeeper can do and that’s what’s really happening to the Eagles,” he concluded.

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