Super Eagles interim head coach, Austine Eguavoen, addressed the media on Friday January 14, 2022 ahead of his team’s second AFCON 2021 Group D clash against Sudan at Roumde Adjia Stadium, Garoua on Saturday, January 15 2022. Completesports.com‘s ADEBOYE AMOSU who covered the Pre-match News Conference in Garoua here presents the details.
Eguavoen on the importance of the match against Sudan..
It’s an important game. It’s not going to be easy and we all know that. The sooner you secure qualification to the next round, the better. We saw what Cameroon did against Ethiopia. We will try as much as possible to achieve that, but we know it’s not going to be easy, but we will do our best to beat Sudan tomorrow.
Eguavoen on Super Eagles not losing steam…
It’s important to keep the momentum going in a competition like this. We have to keep our guard and maintain the same level of focus and concentration. The boys know that as well. Any slip, you are out of the competition.
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So, we have talked to ourselves on our target here, and it is important to keep working towards achieving our objective. We beat Egypt, but that does not hand the trophy to us.
You don’t expect things to go rosy in every game, but we will try our best to win all our games.
Eguvoen on Super Eagles’ failure to utilise many scoring chances against Egypt…
I always believe that it is important not to build a team on just one individual who will be responsible for scoring the goals. We all try to assist one another. If you are not in a good position, assist your teammate because we all take the glory at the end of the day.
Eguavoen on Chidozie Awaziem’s ill-health, expected recovery and return to action…
Hopefully soon. It is not on us to decide that. That is the responsibility of the medical team. Whenever he is certified fit, he will be back on the pitch with us. He has an ankle injury at the moment.
On Super Eagles’ AFCON 2021 title favourites tag…
It’s hard to say because it is a marathon. We have played just one game and like everyone know, Egypt is a very strong team with quality players. Anyone who believe Egypt is a small team, must be making a big mistake.
Yes, we were able to neutralise them. We were lucky at times, We played a good game too. I think it is too early to say we are favourites to win the title.
We will always maintain what we always said: ‘we take it one game at a time’. We will approach all our games with seriousness and respect the opponents.
After crossing that road [Sudan], then we can face the third game against Guinea Bissau.
Eguavoen on the secret behind the win aginst Egypt…
We have not changed anything, it is still the same personnel, it’s just that we gave the players freedom, we gave them the opportunity to express themselves. Like I said during the last press conference, I told them to see me as their father and a brother who they could confide in, but make sure you don’t take undue advantage of that.
Don’t see me as a gentle person and take advantage of that. I think everyone understand that, – the players and the backroom staff.
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The players, I think, they deserve credit and praise for their efforts. When you give them instructions, they carry it out to the letter on the pitch. That makes things easier for the coaching crew.
Eguavoen on the conducive environment for theSuper Super Eagles in Garoua…
We are so much at home here in Garoua. Right from the first day we arrived here, the fans have supported us. Of course, at the hotel we are staying, the staff have been wonderful to us too.
The fans have been there for us. Right from the first training session, they have come out in large numbers to support us. They are always chanting and singing.
Winning against Egypt was our gift to them for their support. The encouragement we have been getting from the people of Garoua has been great. I have been impressed with that.
Eguavoen on whether or not to maintain same strategy that downed Egypt against Sudan….
Every game comes with his own plan. We have three points, they have one point, we need to consolidate on that. They will be pushing hard to win and we want qualify for the second round . We have discussed, the backroom staff and the players what is at stake tomorrow.
Tomorrow, May be we have the same tactics or a different one. They don’t have Mohamed Salah in their team, but they have like four players who are very fast too. Tomorrow, they will be up against Nigeria and it is expected that they will raise their game.
On the possibility of retaining the same lineup…
That’s a little bit too hard to say. We still have one more training session before the game. We have to wait till tomorrow to see all the conditions . It is too early to decide or say what the line-up will look like.
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