Eguavoen to invite five new players ahead AFCON

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Super Eagles interim coach, Austin Eguavoen, has hinted that five new players will be invited to the team ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 33rd AFCON is billed for January 9 to February 6, 2022 in Cameroon.

The 56-year-old, who took over from Gernot Rohr last Sunday, also admitted the team lacked discipline.

“Ninety per cent of the players in the team have been together, we’ll stick with the team that has been together, but we will bring in a few, maybe five,” Eguavoen stated in an interview with Brila FM on Saturday.

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“Only a few new faces will get called up.

“Our players aren’t as bad as some of the results may have appeared.

“I hate to say it was a problem, but we want to inject discipline. Something went wrong and we have to fix that.”

Eguavoen also disclosed that the Nigeria Football Federation had not picked any camp for the team, saying he would meet with the federation to decide the team’s programme for the AFCON this week.

“I’d be meeting with the NFF to decide where the team will camp but as I speak nothing has been agreed upon yet.”

Nigeria will begin its campaign with a clash against Egypt on January 11, before further games against Sudan and Guinea Bissau.

Meanwhile, Eguavoen received a big boost ahead of the team’s preparation for the tournament following the return of Maduka Okoye to action and Victor Osimhen to training.

Okoye suffered a shoulder injury in Sparta Rotterdam’s 1-0 loss to Ajax in their Eredivisie encounter on November 28.

The 22-year-old was stretchered off in the 24th minute after colliding with Ajax striker Danilo.

The goalkeeper missed Sparta’s 3-1 defeat to AZ Alkmaar and their 0-0 draw to Heerenveen but made a return to action on Saturday in Sparta’s 2-2 draw with by Vitesse Arnhem at the Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel.

The 22-year-old featured for 90 minutes in what was his 15th league appearance of the campaign for Sparta Rotterdam. He has so far conceded 22 goals keeping two clean sheets.

Also Osimhen has been handed a temporary polycarbonate mask, which will aid him in rejoining his Napoli teammates in training this week.

It was learnt that the traumatised part of Osimhen’s face has completely deflated, which made Napoli doctor Raffaele Canonico certify the use of the protective mask for the striker.