Super Eagles splashing away at the swimming pool of Gaweye Hotel in Niamey…Thursday morning
Menas of Niger Skipper Nousse Naazou, has declared his admiration for the playing pattern of the Super Eagles team that confronted his side last Wednesday in Niamey, Niger Republic, even as his Coach, Frederic Acosta confessed that the Eagles forced his side to play defensive for the better part of the match.
Naazou, who plays for Etoile Du Sahel of Tunisia, said the standard of the Nigerian team was so high that it was difficult to believe that there was addition of foreign based players in the team.
“Your team was very good and quicker on the ball and they have given us what to expect when we play Guinea in the Nations Cup qualifier in September,” he said.
On his part, Acosta, who was playing his last game as Caretaker Coach of the Menas before Ivorien Francoise Zahoui takes over the Niger side, agreed with the media that his side had their back to the wall for the better part of the game but noted that it had to be so because they were preparing for a qualifier and were playing against a very experienced side like Nigeria.
”It’s a good preparation match for us in Niger and we could not have had a better one. Kudos to the Nigerians they gave a lot to chew over and when we play Guinea in the Nations Cup qualifier, it will show,” he declared.
Also speaking on the match, Niger Football Federation President (FENIFOOT), Col Jubrila Isa (rtd), agreed with the coach that his side’s high rating was brought down to earth by the Eagles, adding that a lot of work needed to be done by the coaching crew of the Menas for them to reach the standard expected of a team that wants to make the Nations Cup finals.
“Nigeria was very quick and good on the ball, we have a lot of work to do on our team, but Nigeria has so many players and have little work to do for the Nations Cup,” he said when he visited the Hotel Gaweye camp of the Super Eagles after the match.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will return to Abuja, the Federal Capital Friday, after a gritty goalless draw against Niger Republic national side on Wednesday in Niamey.
The team will be returning aboard an Asky airliner that is expected to touch down in Abuja by 9am.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi, has also clarified news making the rounds that the team will be going on break, declaring that such a decision has not been taken even as he praised players who had their first international experience and still did so well in the encounter against the Menas of Niger.
Among the players who had their first cap for the national team on Wednesday are Sunshine Stars Kwambe Solomon, Benjamin Francis of Heartland of Owerri, Solomon Jabason of Akwa United, Niger Tornadoes Sibi Gwar, Sani Sanusi of Gombe United, Umar Zango of Kano Pillars and midfield showman, Philip Asuquo of Shooting Stars of Ibadan.
“I must say the entire team did well though we did not win the match, because of wasted opportunities but those that impressed me the more are the players who have never played for the national team before and turned out very well against Niger in an away game. That is why I wonder when some people say the Nigerian league lacks talents, there are lot of them hidden there waiting to be discovered but I must congratulate those who have so far proved themselves against a tough side like Niger," he said.
Keshi said he will continue to groom his home-based side even as he spreads his tentacles for fresh talents.
“It’s a continuous process, because we want the best for the Super Eagles.”