Super Eagles caretaker coach, Samson Siasia, is hopeful that Watford of England striker, Odion Ighalo will re-enact his goal scoring skills against the Pharaohs of Egypt when they clash with the Eagles in an AFCON 2017 qualifying clash in Kaduna on March 25.
Ighalo is among the 21 foreign-based players that were invited by the coach ahead of the crucial double header qualifiers and Siasia is confident that despite his current goal draught in the England Premier League, he will return to the goals chart with the Eagles against the Pharaohs.
Siasia, who spoke after the team’s first full training at the practicing pitch of the Abuja national stadium yesterday expressed his satisfaction with the swift response of the players to camp after the last Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matches, adding that team spirit is high even before the arrival of the foreign-based players.
“The team spirit in camp is very high. Everybody is in camp now; Chikatara and Blessing are the last to arrive. The use of any player, whether home or foreign-based will depend on how they impress during training sessions. I am always in touch with Ighalo and others. I have their assurances that the goals will come. We always monitor them and we prayed that they will all stay out of injury”, Siasia noted.
The Eagles training intensified Tuesday evening as all the invited home-based players trained under the watchful eyes of the technical crew, giving hopes of an early preparation that could yield dividend when they face the Egyptians on March 25 in Kaduna.
Coach Siasia had last week invited 23 home-based players to the Super Eagles Camp in preparation for the back to back African Nations Cup qualifier against Egypt later this month, but had to order the trio of Usman Mohammed, Segun Oduduwa and Stanley Dimgba to return to the Dream Team after he pardoned them, stressing that they are still members of the Olympics team.
He also assured that the technical crew will be fair to all the players, adding that only the best would be picked for the match as there would be no special preference in either home or foreign-based.
“You can see that the boys have been impressive in training, if they continue with this tempo, I’m sure that four or five of them may make the final list. We are going for a very important game and I have promised to use the best legs in the match. We should also bear in mind that the match will be played in Kaduna which may not be very conducive for the foreign-based professionals, so the home-based stand a better chance “, he concluded.