Nigeria’s interim coach Austin Eguavoen has opened up on the process that led to the release of the Super Eagles final list to the African Cup of Nations happening in Cameroon next month.
The Technical Director of the Nigeria Football Federation released the Eagles list to the Afcon with four goalkeepers, nine defenders, five midfielders, and ten strikers making up the squad to the AFCON.
Napoli superstar Victor Osimhen, Captain Ahmed Musa, Watford’s William Troost-Ekong, and Sparta Rotterdam’s Maduka Okoye top the list of invited players. Others include Leicester City’s duo of Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, Rangers Joseph Aribo and Leon Balogun, Torino’s Ola Aina, and the surprise inclusion of Almeria’s Sadiq Umar.
Notable absentees from the Eagles squad include Genk striker Paul Onauchu, Oghenekaro Etebo who both are nursing injuries, Henry Onyekuru, and Samuel Kalu all of whom were part of the Bronze winning team in the last edition.
Since the release of the Eagles list, fans have been divided on the quality the squad possesses and Nigeria’s chances at the AFCON next year but Austin Eguaveon has now disclosed coming up with the squad list wasn’t easy as he had sleepless nights selecting the players reports The Punch. “I think I am better as a coach now because every day that counts matters and I have watched many coaches and I have learned because we learn every day. But the thing is your opponents determine how you set up your team. So, it’s going to be a different approach against Egypt and another against Sudan and Guinea Bissau.”
“It was tough coming up with the final list and since I got the news (of taking Eagles to Cameroon) I would say I don’t sleep well because of expectations but I know not everybody wants us to succeed because they are in doubt but we will do everything humanly possible to put a smile on the faces of Nigerians” Eguavoen added.
Nigeria will begin its AFCON adventure when they take on Egypt in their opening game of the tournament on January 11 at the Stade Roumdé Adjia.