The duo of former Super Eagles stars, Austin Eguavoen and Garba Lawal believe the excitement of play at the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be tasking for the Gernot Rohr-led Eagles.
Speaking ahead of Saturday, September 8 Match day2 tie against Seychelles, Garba insisted that Nigeria will have it tough having their opening qualifier to South Africa.
“The task of qualifying for the 2019 AFCON will be very difficult, considering the fact the team lost its first group match to South Africa in Uyo. Don’t also forget that Libya thrashed Seychelles 5-1,” Garba Lawal told Footballlive.ng.
“When a team fails to win the opening match in a group, it makes the job of qualifying a herculean one. I believe the boys understand the journey in front of them,” he said.
Lawal says the game against Seychelles should be taken very seriously, saying there are no pushovers in football and the players should put their heart to it to ensure they win on September 8.
“There are no more pushovers in football. Teams play against the giants with so much passion and dedication. The game of September 8 won’t be an exception. The hosts will want to impress their fans and show what they can do.”
“My message to the Super Eagles is to ensure that they approach the match with all seriousness and ensure that they punish Seychelles,” he added.
Eguavoen on his part urged invited players to give their all to the course of ensuring that Nigeria gets it right this time.
He said the invited players should count themselves lucky with the plethora of Nigerian players plying their trade abroad.
“Nigeria is a country blessed with interesting and budding talents. Those who are lucky to be invited to the current set up should count themselves lucky and must defend the colours of the nation with pride.”
“We have failed to qualify for two consecutive AFCON, the team should try to make it happen this time around in order to put smiles on the faces of passionate Nigerian fans,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Turkey –based forward, Henry Onyekuru will be the first player to arrive at the Super Eagles’ camp in Savoy Hotel Resort and Spa, Victoria this Monday morning as Nigeria opens camp for Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Pirates of Seychelles.
The Galatasaray SK marksman is scheduled to land in Victoria on the Island of Mahe at 11am, to be by Nigeria –based goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, who will arrive with the Nigeria –based members of the technical crew and backroom staff.
All the other players on Coach Gernot Rohr’s 24 –man roster will arrive at the team hotel on Tuesday, with one group to come in before breakfast and another group expected at lunch time.
Rohr has included three goalkeepers, eight defenders, six midfielders and seven forwards in his list for the crucial match, with four other players on standby.
The Super Eagles and the Pirates clash at the 10,000 –capacity Stade Linite in a Group E, Match day 2 encounter on Saturday, starting from 4.30pm Seychelles time (1.30pm Nigeria time), with both teams in need of the three points after losing their respective openers to the campaign 15 months ago.
Libya tops Group E following a 5-1 thrashing of Seychelles, who have installed a new coach in Gavin Jeanne, with South Africa second after beating the Super Eagles 2-0 in Uyo.