AFCON 2021: Why I haven’t played some Super Eagles stars – Eguavoen
Austin Eguavoen, the coach of the Super Eagles, has revealed why he did not field some of the players in the Super Eagles squad for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles have played two matches so far, winning both against North African opponents, a 1-0 defeat of Egypt and a 3-1 thrashing of Sudan on Saturday.
After securing a spot in the round of 16, Eguavoen hinted at giving some of his squad’s fringe players a chance to play.
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner explained that he deliberately left some of the players out of the first two games because he wanted to avoid taking risks.
He also pointed out that some players were new to the squad while others, such as fullbacks, Tyronne Ebuehi and Jamilu Collins, arrived late to camp.
Addressing reporters after the Super Eagles’ win over Sudan, Eguavoen was asked if he intends to make changes to the starting lineup.
“You are already giving a lineup which is good. I have been long enough with this team, as a technical director from afar but this is the closest I have been with this team, which is about three weeks now,” he said.
“We actually started with quite a number of players, to be precise 24 on the fourth of January and on the fifth we flew out.
“On arrival here, nothing happened because we retired to bed at about 2 am and then preparation started on the sixth, and on the 11th we are to be on the field, so that was why when you see the lineup in this first two games it’s a little bit difficult to take risks.
“It’s better to play with people that know themselves so that was why we maintained what we had up to this point in time.
“We made it clear to all the players that everybody that has come here has a chance to play.
“Now coming to the next game with qualification secured, with a win on our mind as well I think we’ll give a couple of players the opportunity to play “