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Former international, Etim Esin, has said Nigeria’s friendly games against Mali and Luxembourg will help assess the Super Eagles’ preparedness for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
Nigeria, who remained 67th in the world in the current FIFA rankings released on Thursday, will play Mali in Paris, France on May 27 and Luxembourg at home on June 1. The draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers will be done in June.
Former Calabar Rovers player Etim told our correspondent that the Eagles’ performances in the friendlies would also boost the confidence of the players.
He said the matches would enable caretaker coach Salisu Yusuf to know the players capable of playing well in the World Cup qualifiers.
“The friendly matches against Mali and Luxembourg are coming at a time the World Cup qualifiers will be played,” Etim told our correspondent during the week.
“The performance of the Super Eagles in the two matches will determine how well they will play in the qualifiers.
“The coach has invited the players he believes will be good for the team but I believe that the two matches will also throw up more players for the country.
“More friendly matches should also be played after the draw for the World Cup qualifiers had been made.
“The failure of the team to make the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations may affect the psyche of some of the players, so they may not give their best for the team.
“Such players should be identified and replaced with more determined ones.”
He also called for the employment of a substantive manager for the team, lamenting the incessant change of the national team’s coaches.
The former Belgium-based midfielder said, “Change of coaches and tactics has affected the Eagles in recent times. In the last few months, the team has had three coaches, which has affected them. The team need a stable coach for long-term planning.
“The Nigeria Football Federation should work with the Nigerian coaches. Salisu and Imama are some of the young coaches in the country that can do well with the Eagles.”
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Source: Punch News