AFCON 2021: Eguavoen sends strong message to Super Eagles striker, Sadiq

Interim coach of the Super Eagles, Augustine Eguavoen, has sent a strong message to striker, Umar Sadiq Umar, ahead of Nigeria’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, Round of 16 tie with Tunisia on Sunday.

Eguavoen told Sadiq not to let what people say bother him, adding that the Super Eagles have a lot of confidence in him.

Sadiq got his full debut in Nigeria’s final 2021 AFCON Group D tie against Guinea-Bissau, but he failed to impress.

The 24-year-old struggled with the ball on his feet and was wasteful in front of goal against Guinea-Bissau.

However, Sadiq’s night was saved thanks to a brilliant pass from Kelechi Iheanacho, which he calmly finished from close range as Nigeria defeated Guinea-Bissau 2-0.

Sadiq’s performance against Guinea-Bissau left many Super Eagles fans with question marks over his quality.

But speaking ahead of Nigeria’s AFCON last-16 tie with Tunisia on Sunday, Eguavoen said Sadiq should first of all look for an assist before trying to score a goal.

“We have a lot of confidence in him [Sadiq]. He has been scoring goals for his club. We know this is the national team,” Eguavoen said at his pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“This is a very big stage. He should first of all look for an assist before trying to score. He is an integral part of this team. We have absolute confidence in him.

“He is very young and we can understand that. As a striker, the first thing in his mind is to score goals. That is an instinct and that is normal, but this is a team.

“We believe in you when you have a chance to score in a game you score if you don’t just pass the ball.

“We have a lot of confidence in you, so you are still part of this team. Do not let what other people are talking about you bother you.”