*Insists: ‘Friendlies meant to try out new players’
FIFA Match Agent and Stadium Facility Expert, Ebi Egbe, insisted at the weekend that there is nothing to worry over Super Eagles 0-1 loss to reigning African champions Algeria last Friday night in Austria.
Egbe who is the CEO of Africa’s leading stadium construction outfit, Monimichelle Group, said international friendlies are played ostensibly to make a team see its weaknesses and how to work on them.
He noted that the game against Algeria would definitely have given Rohr an insight into what to do ahead of the AFCON and World Cup qualifiers, even as he said coming hard on the team would make the players lose confidence in themselves.
“We need to encourage the team…this is not the time to write them off as it would not help us. Coach Gernot Rohr and his boys need the support and encouragement of Nigerians,” observed Egbe whose firm constructed the playing turfs of stadiums in Aba, Katsina, Makurdi, Yenegoa, and the yet to be officially opened new Onikan Stadium in Lagos.
He commended the NFF for utilizing the FIFA window to try out new players in the senior national team.
“The NFF has on its part done well by putting quality friendlies together for Rohr to try out new players. I am happy the era when Nigeria was not part of the action during FIFA international break is gone. Kudos must go to the Amaju Pinnick led board for turning things around,” Egbe observed.
He stressed that he is confident Nigerians would see the real Super Eagles when the three-time African champions face Sierra Leone next month in the double header AFCON qualifiers.
The Eagles are billed to take on Tunisia on Tuesday in another friendly during the 10-day FIFA approved international break.
Meanwhile, this morning in Austria, Rohr and his team will undergo another Covid-19 tests again before taking on the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia tomorrow.
Ramy Bensebaini’s sixth-minute strike handed the Djamel Belmadi’s Desert Foxes of Algeria a slim 1-0 triumph over Nigeria in Friday’s international friendly.
The Super Eagles would be hoping to return to winning ways against Mondher Kebaier’s team that silenced Sudan 3-0 in Rades thanks to goals from Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Wahbi Khazri and Anis Ben Slimane.
Both teams last met at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations third-place play-off, with Odion Ighalo’s third-minute strike handing Rohr’s men the bronze medal inside Cairo’s Al Salam Stadium.