Super Eagles head coach, Sunday Oliseh believes his side is in good shape to defeat the Pharaohs of Egypt in next month’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.
The coach, who has been making waves in the media over the last two weeks following an outburst on YouTube, insisted that his technical crew has moved on from the chapter and are now focused on their crucial tie against Egypt.
He however, admitted that the North Africans have a bundle of talent and a very experienced coach in their ranks, but was upbeat about the form of his players across Europe and is confident Nigeria would emerge as victors.
Speaking exclusively to TheCable, the 44-year old said: “Egypt is a very solid team; it is topping our group at the moment and they have a very solid coach, Cuper; he is a very experienced coach.
“In Mohammed Salah, they have a very good player who is doing well in Rome and they have players that are used to playing with one another. For that reason, we should expect competition from them.
“That is why we are going to try to study them more and see what they will do. And we have started by looking at all the players they have abroad and we’re also looking forward to the players we have who can counter the strengths they have.”
On the strengths the Egyptians possess, he said: “The strength in the Egyptian team is that they are very mobile and they have lots of players making runs without the ball; that is one thing that makes them play well.
“But we have players that can counter that and it is based on this that we are counting on the players we have used and the ones that are the best at the moment to help us carry the day. That is why I have started work because I have already done the homework with the CHAN players and we worked with them for about a month and we know the ones that are tough enough to invite them. We have to do the same with the foreign-based ones.
“Personally, we have a very good team and we have two pools of 25 home-based players who know our philosophy and 25 foreign-based players who know our philosophy. So for that reason, we are working straight on and I am totally confident that our team is solid enough to deliver and they will.”
Speaking on the players that will be invited for the game, the coach said he has everyone in mind, but added he will have to give more room to the young players, such as Kelechi Iheanacho and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi.
“Everybody is in our plan; we have like five weeks to the game, so we have to look at him and see how he is when the time comes; that’s why if I get some resources I’m hoping to, I’m hoping to watch some few games from them over there; we’ll see that as time goes on.
“You don’t play in Arsenal unless you are good, so that is a plus for us. And for that reason, he is a young star that I think is highly important to us. I gave him his first cap not just to please him but because I think he is good for my country. I’m looking forward to him but like I told you, before invitations are sent out, it is the form of the players around that time that will decide how we invite them.
“We have started work, we are working on the team and we are combing Europe trying to look for our players, to look at what form they are in. Work is in progress.”
Nigeria host the Pharaoh’s between 23-26 of March 2016, while the return leg will be played between 26-29 of March in Egypt.