Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh has asked that the country put behind recent misgivings so as to forge a united front that will beat Egypt in an AFCON 2017 qualifier next month.
Nigeria will battle Egypt in a decisive AFCON qualifier on March 25 with the reverse leg in Egypt a couple of days later. Seven-time African champions Egypt are top of the qualifying group with six points, while Nigeria are two points behind with only the group winners assured of automatic passage to the AFCON in Gabon in January 2017.
Oliseh has therefore urged that all be forgiven and forgotten after the country failed to go past the knockout stage of the 2016 CHAN, followed by his YouTube outburst and the fallouts thereafter.
“We have to move on, the interest of our nation should come first,” pleaded the coach, who has already tendered an apology to his employers.
“We have to fight Egypt and not ourselves now. We have to come together. Nigeria comes first.
“We have to be in Gabon (AFCON 2017) and Russia (2018 World Cup).”
Meanwhile, Oliseh has singled out Mohamed Salah as Egypt’s top star based on his observation about the Pharaohs after he watched some Egypt match tapes.
“I have watched some tapes of Egypt. They are a result-oriented team who foul a lot in defence and midfield and depend on the speed of (Mohamed) Salah,” he said.
“But we’re Nigeria, we’re playing at home and we have our own stars.
“I saw the league match between Kano Pillars and Rangers and saw the capacity fans. If the Kaduna fans can be like that, they will be the 12th man to cheer the Eagles to victory. I’m optimistic.”
Egypt lead the qualifying group for the 2017 AFCON with six points from two matches, two points ahead of Nigeria with only the group winners guaranteed automatic qualification to the final tournament in Gabon.
Nigeria host the Pharaohs on Friday, March 25 in Kaduna with the return match in Egypt two days later.