Emmanuel Okala, former Green Eagles Goalkeeper, on Monday urged the Super Eagles to work harder in their remaining group phase matches at the ongoing 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, especially against Guinea.
Okala, a member of the 1980 African Cup of Nations Cup winning squad, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu.
According to him, the Gernot Rohr-tutored team requires resilience and `strong-will’, to beat their Guinean counterparts.
“We want them to win the match and make us smile once again in the country.
“In the last match, I felt their strong stamina, strength and general improvement in the team; but we lacked the finishing in the 18-yard box.
“We keep praying for the national team, since they are already in the tournament, for them to lift the trophy at the end of the day,’’ he said.
Arthur Ebunam, ex-Rangers International midfielder, described the team as lacking `good coordination’ in their play, especially in passing the ball to one another.
Ebunam, who also played for Mighty Jets of Jos and El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, said there was still work to be done in the team for better understanding.
He advised the coach to stop experimenting with players because the real competition is on.
“The Super Eagles are no longer playing qualifying or friendly matches.
“The coach should start the game with the best legs, since the tournament is for real. There should not be experimentation now.
“The national team handlers should not create a scenario where the opponents will hold the team and country to ransom by having early goals,’’ he said.
A football fan, Mr Ifeanyi Okonkwo, called on the Super Eagles to win their next match convincingly and make Nigeria proud in the ongoing competition.
“We want a convincing win in our next match. This is what we expect from the Super Eagles.
“We need early goals and wide goal margin in the ongoing AFCON,’’ Okonkwo, an ardent supporter of Rangers International FC, Enugu, said.
NAN reports that the Super Eagles defeated hard-fighting Burundians by a lone goal on Saturday, while the other Group B opponents, Guinea and Madagascar settled for a 2-2 draw.
Guinea ended their first game on Sunday, June 23, by forcing youthful Madagascar to a 2 – 2 draw.
The AFCON 2019, which kicked off on June 21 with the expanded 24-team and six groups format, will end on July 19.