Austin Eguavoen, the interim coach of the Super Eagles, has acknowledged that he spent a sleepless night while putting together his 28-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
In Group D, the Eagles will meet Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea Bissau.
The 2021 AFCON will be held in five cities in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
Eguavoen said he was mindful of the threats posed by the seven-time champions before of the event.
“Egypt is a seven-time champion and a team I’ve played and coached against at the junior level. “I know what they’re capable of,” Eguavoen told the Nigerian Football Federation’s television channel.
“They are not a team that can be pushed around, and no team that has qualified for the AFCON can be pushed around.” We’ll do everything we can to figure out how to analyze them both individually and collectively.
“I believe I am a better coach now because every day counts, and I have observed many coaches and learned from them since we all learn every day.” However, how you set up your team is determined on your opponents. So, one strategy will be used against Egypt, while another will be used against Sudan and Guinea Bissau.”
“It was difficult to come up with the final list, and I haven’t slept well since I got the news (of taking the Eagles to Cameroon),” he said. “I understand that not everyone wants us to succeed because they are skeptical, but we will do everything humanly possible to put a smile on Nigerians’ faces.” Eguavoen threw in his two cents.
Despite his brief time with the club, the 56-year-old expressed confidence in their chances of winning the AFCON.
“There is a team on the ground,” he continued, “and I believe that this team is ready to compete whenever they are called upon.” We all know that time is limited, yet each coach has his unique approach and philosophy.
“I don’t think we’ll struggle with the caliber of players we have, but there won’t be time for any friendly matches, and that’s when you can really analyze your team and see whether they can perform what you want or what the technical crew wants.” Whatever the case may be, we must just do what we must.
“The players have what it takes to win the AFCON, but a thousand miles begins with a single step, and that is precisely what we will do.” We set up a meeting from the beginning, and we have to confront reality and communicate with one another. Talk about where we want to go and what we want to achieve. We’ll put in a lot of effort to meet those objectives.
“So, I believe we have everything we need to win the championship, but we must take it game by game.”
On January 11, the Eagles will play Egypt in their first match of the tournament at the Stade Roumdé Adjia.