By Fidelis Ebu:
Eagles’ new Technical Adviser, Lars Lagerback was deadpan when he warned that himself and his team will not tolerate any form of indiscipline and stated that any player that cannot handle the rules of engagement does not deserve to be in the squad that will make it to the World Cup.
Lagerback during a world press conference said, “As a professional footballer, if you have the privilege to be invited to your national team, in this case, the Super Eagles, you have to take a lot of responsibility by yourself. Because if you are a professional footballer and have the chance to go to the World Cup, you have to take the responsibility but I can assure you that the issue of discipline will be very important to us at the backroom, we will handle it and if the players cannot handle it then he shouldn’t be or cannot be in the Super Eagles’ World Cup squad”.
Asked how the bench will be like during the World Cup if he will be working with both the Nigerian coaches and his assistants, he replied, “I like to say we have decided on that 100 per cent when I spoke to Daniel Amokachi and Austin Eguavoen, the Nigerian assistant coaches.
Daniel will be more with the team while Austin will be more of a scout on the teams we will play against. We have not decided yet because Austin was not in the last backroom staff meeting so, I will call him when we go to Kano to see the game between Nigeria and Niger Republic and talk with him a little bit more before we decide on how to work together”.
On the standard he will use to invite players, the Swede was emphatic when he expressed that there would be discrimination in the selection.
“Like I said before, we are going into this with a very open mind even though I have said we have watched some of the team’s matches. It does not matter where you come from, you have to prove yourselves”.
While responding to a question on the injury situation in the camp, Lagerback said he was not closing the door on injured players, provided they recover and prove their worth during the next friendly matches as well as clubs’ engagements.
He stated that, “So far only the friendly match with Columbia has been confirmed and will be played in London while the NFF will decide and work on the remaining two friendlies”.
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