Eguavoen hints at Super Eagles AFCON formation
Interim Nigeria manager Augustine Eguavoen has made a formation hint regarding how the Super Eagles will line up at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
Fans and pundits alike are of the opinion that the Super Eagles should resort to wing-play that worked so well for the national team in their glory years of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Eguavoen highlighted that the current wingers in the Super Eagles fold are not on the same level as the likes of Ajax Amsterdam legend Finidi George and ex-Barcelona star Emmanuel Amunike.
Nigeria has selected wingers Chidera Ejuke, Ahmed Musa, Samuel Chukwueze, Moses Simon, Alex Iwobi and Emmanuel Dennis in a 28-man AFCON squad, two of whom Eguavoen has labeled explosive.
"For you to get on the field and then have the formation right you must have the personnel as well," Eguavoen told NFF TV.
"When you talk of wing play like people are clamoring for, yes why not? That has always been our tradition but whereby you don't have the Finidis, Amunikes, Elahos, Odegbamis from wing play how do you achieve that?
"We have to try to be flexible as well. Yes we have these kids now. From Villarreal Chukwueze, we have Simon, going forward we can be explosive but what about defending?
"We're talking about wing players offensively but you have to do a defensive job as well."
Erstwhile Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr deployed a 3-5-2 formation in his last three games as coach of the Super Eagles.
… Says team won’t struggle in Cameroon
Super Eagles have the quality that will ensure they won’t struggle at the AFCON despite the short training camp before the tournament, according to caretaker coach Austin Eguavoen.
The Eagles will open training camp Wednesday in Abuja, but the bulk of the 28-man squad are not due in camp till next week which means they will not have enough time to prepare for the AFCON, which begins January 9.
“Yes the time (to prepare) is quite short, but with the quality of the players, we won’t struggle,” Eguavoen told NFF TV.
“We hope we could still play one or two friendlies, but if not we will try and guide them in training.”
The 56-year-old coach said expectations for the Eagles to do well are high.
“I don’t sleep well because of the high expectations even though some few people are in doubt (of what we can achieve),” he said.
“The AFCON is not a small tournament, it’s a major tournament and so expectations are high.
“But we have what it takes to go all the way and we will take it a game at a time.”