New Telegraph

No grade A friendlies for Eagles before AFCON – Eguavoen

…says no materials to return to wing play


Super Eagles interim coach Austin Eguavoen has revealed that his team may not play grade A friendlies ahead of the African Cup of Nations slated to begin January 9, 2022.


Eguavoen, who took over from Gernot Rohr a few weeks ago, said the time is too short to arrange friendlies with top opponents but insisted he would still come up with a squad that can compete for the title.


“The time is quite short we all know that but every coach has his own leadership style, his own philosophy. And with the quality of players we have I don’t think we will struggle but the only thing is there won’t be time for any friendlies because that’s when you actually assess your team if they can actually do what the technical crew want.


So, if there was time to play at least two or three friendly games you can tell them how to operate in departments individually and collectively and in lines then we can say yes. But as it is we just have to do what we have to do and in training sessions we can tell them how we want them to play and guide them,” he said.


A lot of critics believe the Eagles should go back to the wing style of play but Eguavoen said aside the fact that football keeps evolving there is no enough personnel to revert to the style.


“For you to get on the field and have your formation right you must have the personnel as well.


When you talk about wing play like what people are clamouring for, yes why not? That’s what has been our tradition but when you don’t have the Finidis, the Amunekes, the Elahos, the Odegbamis how do you achieve that? But we have to be flexible as well.


We have Samuel Chukwueze, we have Moses Simon, going forward we can be explosive but what about defending? We are talking about wing players offensively but they have to do defensive job a s well,” he added.

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